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JSONP-based client library for the Sunlight Labs Congress API
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A fork of Clarence Leung's Node.js client library, node-sunlightapi, for the Sunlight Labs Congress API. This fork employs JSONP requests, so that the service library can be deployed in client-side scenarios.


This library depends on jQuery.


Initialize the API by creating a client and passing your API key as a parameter. If you don't have an API key, you can get one here.

  var SunlightClient = require('sunlight').SunlightClient;

  var sunlight = new SunlightClient("YOUR_API_KEY");

Legislators methods

The legislators namespace is comprised of several functions:

  • legislators.get(params, callback)
  • legislators.getList(params, callback)
  •, options, callback)
  • legislators.allForZip(zip, callback)
  • legislators.allForLatLong(latitude, longitude, callback)


legislators.get and legislators.getList both take a JavaScript object representing the query parameters and a callback function. They return all legislators that match the provided criteria. These parameters are also the ones returned in each legislator object.

All available parameters can be found in the documentation.

To get the represenative that represents NC-4:

  sunlight.legislators.get({state: 'NC', district: '4'}, function(rep) {
    console.log(rep.title + '. ' + rep.firstname + ' ' + rep.lastname);
  // Rep. David Price

legislators.getList works much the same way, but reutrns a list. It is possible to do a more complex query, for instance, "all legislators from New York that are Republicans":

  sunlight.legislators.getList({state: 'NY', party='R'}, function(reps) {
    for (i in reps) {
      console.log(reps[i].title + '. ' + reps[i].firstname + ' ' + reps[i].lastname);
  // Rep. Pete King
  // Rep. Christopher Lee

search allows you to query the database with a less than perfect representation of a legislator's name.

The search is tolerant of use of nicknames, lastname-firstname juxtaposition, initials and minor misspellings. The return is a set of results that include legislator records as well as certainity scores between 0 and 1 (where 1 is most certain).

Search takes two optional parameters:

  • threshold: the minimum score you want to return, the default is 0.8 and you should rarely go lower than 0.7.

  • all_legislators: if True will search legislators in the API that are no longer in office (default is False)

An example use of search is as follows:'Menondaz', {threshold: 0.8}, function(sen) {
    sen = sen[0].legislator;
    console.log(sen.title + '. ' + sen.firstname + ' ' + sen.lastname);
  // Sen. Robert Menendez


legislators.allForZip retrieves all legislators that represent a given zipcode.

This typically means two senators and one (or more) representatives.

To get all legislators that represent the 27511 zipcode:

  sunlight.legislators.allForZip('27511', function(legs) {
    for (i in legs) {
      console.log(legs[i].title + '. ' + legs[i].firstname + ' ' + legs[i].lastname);
  // Rep. David Price
  // Sen. Kay Hagan
  // Sen. Richard Burr
  // Rep. Brad Miller


legislators.allForLatLong retrieves all legislators representing a given point.

This is a shortcut for calling districts.getDistrictFromLatLong and then looking up the district representative and state senators.

To get all legislators that represent a location in western PA at 41.92, -80.14:

  sunlight.legislators.allForLatLong(41.92, -80.14, function(legs) {
    for (i in legs) {
      console.log(legs[i].title + '. ' + legs[i].firstname + ' ' + legs[i].lastname);
  // Sen. Bob Casey
  // Sen. Arlen Specter
  // Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper

Committees methods

The committees namespace is comprised of three functions:

  • committee.get(id, callback)
  • committee.getList(chamber, callback)
  • committee.allForMember(bioguide_id, callback)


committee.get gets full details for a given committee, including membership and subcommittees.

Example of getting details for a committee:

  sunlight.committee.get('HSAG', function(com) {
  // House Committee on Agriculture


committee.getList gets all committees for a given chamber (House, Senate, or Joint).

To see all joint committees for the current Congress:

  sunlight.committee.getList('Joint', function(coms) {
    for (i in coms) {
  // Joint Economic Committee
  // Joint Committee on Printing
  // Joint Committee on Taxation
  // Joint Committee on the Library


All for legislator shows all of a legislator's committee and subcommittee memberships.

Showing all of a legislator's committees:

  sunlight.committees.allForLegislator('S000148', function(coms) {
    for (i in coms) {
  // Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
  // Senate Committee on Finance
  // Joint Committee on the Library
  // Joint Economic Committee
  // Senate Committee on the Judiciary
  // Joint Committee on Printing
  // Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Districts methods

The districts namespace is comprised of two functions:

  • districts.getDistrictsFromZip(zip, callback)
  • districts.getDistrictFromLatLong(latitude, longitude, callback)


districts.getDistrictsFromZip fetches all districts that overlap a given zipcode.

To get all districts that overlap 14623:

  sunlight.districts.getDistrictsFromZip('14623', function(dists) {
    for (i in dists) {
// NY-29
// NY-28


districts.getDistrictFromLatLong finds the district that a given lat-long coordinate pair falls within.

To find out what district 61.13 N, 149.54 W falls within:

  sunlight.districts.getDistrictFromLatLong(61.13, 149.54, function(dists) {
  // AK-0
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