Votes, committee hearings, floor debates: There's a lot to keep track of in Congress.
Even members of Congress and their staffers can get confused sometimes, which is why a growing number of them have turned to a smartphone app to stay organized.
Capitol Bells lets its users monitor floor proceedings in real time and receive push alerts notifying them of live votes. When votes are happening, it features a countdown voting clock and lets users “vote” alongside Congress.
The free app is named after the bell members hear in their offices when a vote is coming up — although it's really more like a buzzing sound.
Designed by a former House aide, the app was originally intended to engage the public in Capitol Hill proceedings. But dozens of members of Congress and thousands of staffers have downloaded the app as well, according to Politico.
“My staff and I use Capitol Bells to make sure that I don't miss important votes,” Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, is quoted saying on the app's website.
Capitol Bells has only been available for House votes, but this week its creators launched the Senate version.
It is one of two Congress-related apps getting attention this week: A select few attended a launch party Tuesday for an app that lets constituents rate their elected officials on a scale of 1 to 5, much like a Yelp review for businesses.