To track topics in the congressional agenda, I compared the word frequency in bill titles over the last 40 years (see Appendix for details):
Education surges in the recent years, while health care does not
Security happens to be more important than freedom
China replaces the Soviet Union
Unemployment periodically becomes an issue
Unemployment gets moderate attention (about 1/20th of "security"). Congresspersons ignore inflation, while the NYT devotes lot of attention to both and clearly prefer talking more about inflation:
Appendix: Data and replicationThe US Congress bill titles are available from two sources:
- The Library of Congress: Bills, Resolutions
- Copy of the data on Enigma.io (registration required). An example: https://app.enigma.io/table/us.gov.congress.thomas.93.titles, where 93 refers to the 93th Congress.
Replication files: https://github.com/antontarasenko/blog-replication-files/tree/master/2014/09/15/congress_speak.