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Floor Updates? There’s an App for That (Video)

Hoyer's office launched the new app "Whip Watch." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Hoyer's office launched the new app "Whip Watch." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., announced Thursday his office has launched an app that details floor updates and provides insider information on the latest developments.

“Today, I’m proud to announce a new app called ‘Whip Watch’ that will be a great resource for our Members and staff, while also making the House of Representatives more open and accessible to the public,” Hoyer said in a statement.

“By downloading this app, any American interested in the day-to-day workings of the House Floor can receive the latest updates and news in real time,” Hoyer added “It is an important step in my efforts to make this institution more open and transparent, and I encourage Members, staff, the press, and public to download the new app today.”

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The app is available for free on iTunes. According to its description, it pulls data from the internal website, which is only visible to House Democratic staff, as well as the public site,

Hoyer unveiled the app to members at the whip meeting Thursday morning, and also debuted a video featuring several lawmakers. Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., are seen wondering about the schedule. And Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., comes to the rescue and says, “Hold on folks, let me check the new app I have.”

One senator is also featured in the video. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., is filmed asking a staffer, “Do you have any idea what’s happening in the House today?” The staffer then pulls out his phone and checks the app for the latest development.

“It’s the most anticipated watch of the year,” Hoyer says in the video, as images of Apple Watches appear beneath him on screen. “No, not that one.”

Crowley also lauded the app in a statement after its release. “My colleagues and our staff rely on information about votes and the legislative schedule from the Whip’s office,” Crowley said, “which is why  it’s incredibly helpful to now have all that information in one place through the new Whip Watch app.”

 Correction 12:27 p.m.

A earlier version of this post misstated the nature of one of the Democratic websites.

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