Congress considers hundreds of bills each year for passage into law. During this process many documents are published which can be extremely valuable to research in many subject areas. More recent documents can easily be identified with the use of several electronic databases. Full text is available for many but not all documents. This guide provides links to finding legislative documentation online and in the library.
The U.S. constitution is the basis for the operation of both houses in the legislative branch, but provides that each, "may determine the Rules of its Proceedings." The following links direct to resources that describe the rules of parlimentary procedure in the Senate and House of Representatives.
This guide was created using resources identified by the creators of the following legislative history guides.
The organization of this guide is based on the legislative process: the sequence of steps that a bill goes through to become a law. For more information, see the Legislation tab in this guide.
The Congressional Record - Mentioned in Bills and Debate & Amendments.
Committee Reports and Publications - Mentioned in Committees.
Bills and Laws - Mentioned in Legislation, Introduction of Bills, and Enrollment and Signing.
Legislative Histories - Mentioned in Legislation. Also see "A Century of Lawmaking" from the Library of Congress. Includes Continental Congress documents, Journals of Congress & more.
Congressional Budget Office and Government Accountability Office Reports - Mentioned in Official Reports.
The following databases contain information published by Congress: