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Legislative Research - Federal: Debate & Amendments

Floor Debate in the Congressional Record

After a bill leaves committee, it will be debated on the floor of the Senate or the House of Representatives.  This process may result in amendments to the original bill being proposed, leading to newer versions of the original bill.

The record of this debate will be recorded in the Congressional Record, which is published every day Congress is in session.  A Daily Digest included at the end of each issue of the Congressional Record provides a summary of the events on the floor; however, verbatim transcripts of debate can be found within each issue.  See the right-hand column on this page for more on tracking Congressional Record citations.  Earlier versions of the Congressional Record (from the period of 1789 through 1873) were known by various names, including the Annals of Congress, the Register of Debates, and the Congressional Globe.

Online:

Online Historical Collections:

In the Library:

Bound Editions vs. Daily Editions of the Congressional Record

There are two slightly different editions of the Congressional Record.  The Daily Edition is published daily, while the Bound Edition is published annually in several volumes.  The primary difference between the two editions is in page numbering and organization (The House and Senate records are published as separate Daily Editions, but are included together in the Bound Edition).  The most easily accessible digital versions of recent Congressional Records are Daily Editions; older records (for example, those in the Library's microform collection) tend to be Bound Editions.

Other Versions of the Congressional Record

In addition to the microform and digital versions of the Congressional Record available through the federal government and library subscription resources, there are several other places to find excerpts of the Congressional Record.

Scans of a specific Congressional Record citation can also be requested through Interlibrary Loan as articles. See this guide for more details: