Quest #1 Sources
Official List of Members of the House of Representatives of the United States -
Kids in the House: Learn about Congress -
Search for information on members of the US Congress from 1774 to the present day by entering a name, position or state
Legislative Branch: The Center for Legislative Archives -
Quest #2 Sources
Quest #3 Sources
Quest #4 Sources
Quest # 5 Sources
Quest #6 Sources
Choose one major bill being considered by Congress, discuss the proposed bill and what the result will be if the bill becomes a law.
Step 1: There are several ways to learn about current bills in the legislature. One of the best ways is to read the newspaper or read online news sources. Here is a recommended list of news sources to read online:
San Antonio Express News - http://www.mysanantonio.com/
Fox News - http://www.foxnews.com/politics/index.html
C-SPAN - http://www.c-span.org/
Human Events - http://www.humanevents.com/
Bills in the News - http://thomas.loc.gov/home/textonly.html
Step 2: Once you have located a bill that interests you, try to locate the bill in Thomas.
How to find bills at Thomas - http://thomas.loc.gov/home/bills_res.html
The THOMAS home page contains a search box that searches bill text (the full text of legislation) for the current Congress. Users can search by keywords or a bill number (e.g., HR 212).
If you know the bill number of the bill you are searching for, type it in the box, select "bill number" and click on the search button. You will be linked directly to the text of the bill, or if there is more than one version of the bill, to a list of those versions.
If you want a list of bills related to a particular word or phrase, type that word or phrase in the input box, select "word/phrase" and click on the search button. A search engine searches the full text of all the bills in the given Congress for the given word/phrase.
Additional options for searching bill text and bill summary & status information is available from the "Bills and Resolutions" section. These options include searching previous Congresses, multiple Congresses and advanced searching.
Read the bill at Thomas. Next go back and read analysis of the bill from online news sources above. This should give you enough information to write a short discussion. In your discussion make certain that you include the following information: (1) what the bill is about, (2) who sponsored the bill, and (3) what will happen if the bill becomes a law. Your paper should be about one page long.
Quest # 7 Sources
Write your Representative - This web site will assist you by identifying your Congressperson in the U.S. House of Representatives and provide contact information.
Write your Senator - This web site will assist you by identifying your Senators in the Senate and provide contact information.
Sample Letter to Member of Congress .pdf file
Virtual Video Tour of the Treasury Building - The video is no longer available. Please visit this page for an image slideshow:
Welcome to the United States Treasury Building. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1972, the Treasury Building is one of our Nation's most significant monuments. A magnificent granite structure in the Greek Revival style, it was constructed over a period of 33 years between 1836 and 1869. Today the building still serves as the headquarters for the Treasury Department.
In 1985, the Treasury restoration program began with private contributions. Work continues today to return the building to its former glory.
Come now, and explore this historic gem in our Nation's capital.
The east and center wings were designed by Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument. These wings comprise the oldest part of the building, constructed from 1836 to 1842. The most architecturally impressive feature of the Mills design is the colonnade running the length of the building. Each of the 30 columns is 36 feet tall and each was carved out of a single piece of granite. The interior design of the east and center wings is classically austere, in keeping with the Greek Revival style.
Before and during the Civil War additions were made to the original wings. While the exterior of the building was constructed along the lines of the original Mills wings, the interiors of the later wings reflect changes in both building technology and aesthetic taste. Iron columns and beams reinforced the building's brick vaults, and the architectural detailing became much more ornate. The final addition to the Treasury Building was the north wing, built from 1867 to 1869. Its architect was Alfred B. Mullett, who later designed the Old Executive Office Building on the west side of the White House. The north wing is the site of the Cash Room - a two-story marble hall where the daily financial business of the U.S. Government was transacted. In 1869, the Cash Room was used for President Grant's inaugural reception.
The Salmon P. Chase Suite
Restored spaces in the Treasury Building include the suite of offices used by Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Chase during the Civil War. Chase was Lincoln's first Treasury Secretary, serving from 1861 to 1864.
Chase had a private office and an adjoining reception room. His diary entries tell us Abraham Lincoln came to the office regularly, where they conferred about the nation's financial matters.
With information discovered by paint analysis, the decorative painting on the ceiling and walls has been faithfully replicated.
There are no surviving invoices or historic images available of the rooms as they looked during the 1860s, but the furnishings, carpet and window treatments are "period-appropriate" for the era.
The sofas and the bookcase in the reception room are part of the historic Treasury furniture collection. A number of objects were acquired for the restoration, including the side chairs originally owned by Jay Cooke, a financier and frequent visitor to these rooms during the Civil War.
The most challenging aspect of the restoration was the ceiling in Chase's private office. Sadly, the murals and decorative painting had been painted over. Ninety years of paint have been meticulously stripped away to reveal the original decoration from the 1860s. The two allegorical murals - "Treasury" and "Justice" are the focal points of this ceiling.
The overmantel mirror is the Treasury collection's most elaborate. It features an eagle and other symbols appropriate for an important 19th century government office.
The Andrew Johnson Suite
In 1864, the Treasury Secretary's office was relocated to a suite overlooking the White House. This second suite of rooms, called the Andrew Johnson Suite, has also been restored. In 1865, when President Lincoln was assassinated, the reception room in this suite was pressed into service as a temporary office for the new president, Andrew Johnson.
Today the rooms look much the same as when President Johnson was here. The restoration was aided by the discovery of the original invoices for its furniture, purchased in 1864.
Historic engravings of the rooms, published in Frank Leslie's Illustrated News, were invaluable in determining carpet patterns, furniture arrangement and style of lighting fixtures. The walnut window cornices, featuring gilded Treasury seals and cornucopias filled with coins have been faithfully recreated for the rooms. The sofa which appears in an 1865 engraving of the room is part of the historic Treasury furniture collection. The statue of Andrew Jackson on the table is a miniature of the one found in Lafayette Square.
The blue room where the Secretary had his private office has also been furnished in 19th century pieces. The mantel in the office is ornamented with Treasury symbols.
The Treasury Building is the oldest departmental building in Washington. It has had a great impact on the design of other government buildings. At the time of its completion, it was one of the largest office buildings in the world.
Today, the Treasury Building is unquestionably a monument of continuing architectural and historic significance.