What is a channel?

A Channel is a group of bills you are tracking.  Each channel allows you to control whether and how often you are notified of status changes to bills in that channel.  You can view your list of channels on our Channel Page.  From there, you can Create a Channel or click one of your existing channels to further configure it to your needs.

Configuration

You can create as many channels as you'd like, allowing you to group bills in any manner satisfying your tracking needs.  You can also add keywords to a channel, which will automatically add to your channel any bill matching your keywords in the summary or its documents.

There is no restriction on how many bills can be contained in a channel nor is there any restriction on the same bill being tracked in multiple channels.  The service is designed for you to choose the structure that best meets your needs.

Notifications

Channel notifications are the central feature of MyCapitolWatchdog.com.  Whenever the status of a bill you are tracking in one of your channels changes, you will receive an e-mail notification of that change.  You can specify on a per-channel basis whether you'd like to receive these notifications in real-time or once per day in a "Daily Digest" e-mail containing all status changes for your bills for that day.  If you'd prefer to just track bills with no notifications, you can also specify individual channels to not send e-mails for status changes.

When receiving a notification, the name of the channel containing the bill whose status changed will be included in the subject line of the e-mail.

Status Reports

If you would like to see the status of all bills in your channel, you can click the "Send Status Report" button on the channel editor page.  This will immediately send an e-mail with the entire list of bills you are tracking in that channel, along with the bill's last status and, if you have specified one, your position on that bill.