More Transparency on Capitol Hill: Is There an App for that?

Do you wish there was a better way for you to keep track of key votes on the house floor? Or keep track of what votes are up next? Well, now there is an app for that.


House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca) has launched a new app that brings governing into the digital age. Traditionally, the Whip keeps track of legislation and makes sure members are present for key votes. Now, McCarthy can carry out his whip responsibilities with the help of Whipcast.

In the video released with the launch, a young woman sitting on a couch asks "wouldn't be great if I could stay plugged into the issues that matter to me?" to which McCarthy, sitting next to her, lowers his newspaper and says, "You know there's an app for that."

McCarthy seeks not only to remind lawmakers of key votes but to wants to empower the "American public to take back the house." The app features all of the same information that House GOP leadership sends to members. "While in the Minority, we saw how the Democrat Majority obscured their actions from the public as they wrote legislation behind closed doors and limited floor debate, and we vowed to chart a new course," McCarthy said in a statement released by his office.

He told Fox News Anchor, Greta Van Susteren, that he thinks that it will also be a useful tool for the President. "I hope the president downloads it so when he is out speaking he can get what is really happening in congress."

Since the 2008 election the Republican Party has made large strides in embracing social media. In 2009, then Republican Whip Eric Cantor launched Whip cast for Blackberry, causing many people to conclude that the Blackberry was the GOP's Smartphone of choice. The new Whipcast is the first application on the hill to cover all major platforms.

In an era of party division, will the Whipcast be bringing together more than just Blackberry loyalists and Iphone fans? Unlikely, McCarthy says the app will not include information from House Democrats. "They can write their own app."