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Government Documents: Legislative Branch

Legislative Branch Documents

Bills are legislative proposals from the House of Representatives and Senate within the United States Congress. There are numerous versions and amendments to bills throughout the legislative process.

Research Databases & Websites (1973-present) is the legislative documents database from the Library of Congress, and is particularly useful for tracking current bills through Congress. (1993-present)
The beta site replacing GPO's FDsys.

Lexis Advance (1989-present)

ProQuest Legislative Insight (1789-present)
This resource is great for comparing different versions of a bill, but it only includes bills that are ultimately passed as laws.

Westlaw (1994-present) 

  • Historical Federal Bills
  • Proposed Legislation (Bills) - Current legislation.

Research Databases & Websites

Public Laws
Also known as slip laws, these resources are useful before the law has been officically included in US Statutes at Large. (1973-2016) (1995-current)

Lexis Advance (1988-current)

ProQuest Legislative Insight (1902-2016)

Westlaw (2015-current)

US Statutes at Large
The United States Statutes at Large, typically referred to as the Statutes at Large, is the permanent collection of all laws and resolutions enacted during each session of Congress. (1951-2011) 

HeinOnline (1789-2011) 

Lexis Advance (1789-present edition)

ProQuest Legislative Insight (1902-present edition)

Westlaw (1789-1972)

United States Code
A codification of permanent laws organized by subject matter. (1994-present edition) 

HeinOnline (1926-present edition) 

Lexis Advance (current)

Office of the Law Revision Counsel (1988-present edition)

Westlaw (1996-present edition)

Print Resources

The library has a print collection which includes:

U.S. Statutes at Large
United States Code
United States Code Annotated
Slip Laws

House and Senate Reports are issued for almost every bill that becomes a law, and there is usually a report from each of the House and Senate committees that considered the legislation. Committee reports, and conference reports in particular are the most important source for determining legislative intent.

Research Database & Websites (1995-present) (1995-present)

Lexis Advance (1989-present)

ProQuest Congressional Serial Set Collection (1789-2017)

ProQuest Legislative Insight (1789-2017)
This resource includes reports that are associated with public laws.

Westlaw (1948-present) 
Search the USCCAN file to locate reports.

Print Resources

United States Congressional Serial Set - Congressional reports are part of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, commonly referred to as the Serial Set.  The library has an extensive, but incomplete Serial Set collection spanning the 80th-103rd Congresses.

USCCAN (United States Code Congressional and Administrative News)

There is no comprehensive resource for hearings.  The resources below all of select collections depending on the date and topic of the hearing.  Congressional Committee websites are also a great resource for recent hearings, with a limited achieve.

Research Databases & Websites

Bloomberg Government (BGOV)
Located on the library's Bloomberg Terminal, BGOV provides transcripts for Committee Hearings before the official version is available. (1985-present)

HeinOnline (1927-present)

Lexis Advance

ProQuest Congressional Hearings Collection (1824-2017)
Includes published and unpublished hearings from the Senate and House.

ProQuest Legislative Insight (1789-2017)
This resource includes hearings that are associated with public laws.

Westlaw (1993-present)

  • U.S. Congressional Testimony - Agendas and witness lists for U.S. congressional committee hearings, transcripts of oral statements, and written statements submitted to committees of Congress.
  • U.S. Political Transcripts - Transcripts of news conferences, press briefings, political speeches, and oral testimony from congressional committee hearings.

The Congressional Record and its predecessor publications are the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It is published in two editions: the Daily Edition that is published daily when Congress is in session, and the permanent Bound Edition which is published on a four-year delay.

Research Databases & Websites (1995-present) (1994-present)

The most comprehensive source for Congressional debate, historical and current.  HeinOnline has full text PDFs of the bound and daily editions of the Congressional Records as well as its predecessor publications: Congressional Globe, Register of Debates in Congress, and Annals of the Congress of the United States.

Lexis Advance (1989-present) 

Westlaw (1985-present)

Print Resources

Congressional Annals (1789-1824), Congressional Globe (1833-1873), Congressional Record  (1873-2011)

Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports are written by a division of the Library of Congress based on requests from Congress.  They reports are not officially published for the public, but difference collections of reports are available around the web and the library resources below.

Research Databases & Websites

Bloomberg Government (BGOV)
An extensive collection with more than 34,000 reports, from 2003 to date.
The Internet's largest free and public collection of Congressional Research Service Reports.

HeinOnline (1995-present)
Includes a small selection of reports mostly from 2011 to the present day.

ProQuest Legislative Insight
Select CRS Reports are available if they are related to a legislative history.

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