How to . . .
find out about congressional votes
All voting in Congress is a matter of public record. However, not all floor votes are roll call votes. There are voice votes (“aye” or “no”) and division or standing votes (where the presiding officer counts Members), and these types of votes do not indicate by name how a Member voted.
Senate roll call vote tallies are posted online within an hour of the vote. You can view today's votes or use the vote tables to look at any roll call vote taken since the 101st Congress (1989). In addition to vote tallies, the entries also provide brief descriptions of the votes and links to THOMAS for the texts of the legislation.
House roll call vote tallies are posted online directly following the vote. You can view votes from this Congress or use the archives to look at any roll call vote taken since the 101st Congress, 2nd session (1990). In addition to vote tallies, the entries provide brief descriptions of the votes.
THOMAS provides Senate recorded floor votes going back to the 101st Congress (1989-90) and House recorded floor votes going back to the second session of the 101st Congress (1990). Looking at votes through THOMAS is easy if you know the date the vote occurred or you know the vote or bill number, but there is no subject access to votes and the description of each vote is very brief. House vote charts are broken out by yeas, nays, and not voting, and include overall vote tallies and party breakdowns. The Senate vote charts are grouped by three categories: yeas, nays, and not voting; alphabetically by name; and by state. The Senate charts also provide overall tallies, but not party breakdowns.
The Congressional Record is the official source of information on recorded floor votes. Votes are printed in the daily Record as they occur on the floor. The votes provide an alphabetical listing of members under “yea,” “nay,” and “not voting” categories and show the overall tally for each category. However, votes are not identified by party or by state. The Daily Digest section that is printed at the end of each Record shows how many roll call votes were taken that day and show on what page in the Record the votes can be found. The Congressional Record Index provides subject access to the votes (under “Votes in Senate” and “Votes in House.”)