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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.
Resources on Legislative Rules and Procedure
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.
Westlaw This link opens in a new window
WestLaw is a collection of law-related resources. It includes important analytical sources, such as Am Jur 2d and the ALR's, as well as law reviews and journals. Primary Law Sources are also included, such as the United States Code Annotated (USCA or US Code), Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and the Federal Register, as well as state statutes and regulations, and all federal and state cases. Note: Previously known as WestlawNext.
govinfo This link opens in a new window
Provides free public access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government - Executive (including departments and agencies), Legislative, and Judicial. Service of the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO). Formerly named FDsys and GPO Access.
More Useful Links
The following databases contain information published by Congress:
Congressional Publications This link opens in a new window
Comprehensive access to U.S. legislative information. Includes indexing since 1970 and selected full text of proposed legislation and status, legislative histories, congressional committee information, campaign contributions and PAC activities, articles from The Hill, Roll Call, the Washington Post and more. Now also includes Statutes at Large 1789-present and Congressional Indexes to reports, documents, and published and unpublished hearings for 1789-1969. For Auraria faculty, staff, and students only (off-campus use).
Research bill history, Members of Congress, and progress of legislation.2001-Present. Unrestricted access.
U.S. House of Representatives
Bills, committee hearing schedules and oversight plans; roll call votes; current legislation; legislative process, directories of members and contact information. Unrestricted access.
Committee hearing schedules, roll call votes, member directory, current bills. Unrestricted access.
In addition to other video recorded by C-SPAN (Press conferences, conventions, etc.), this video archive contains footage of the U.S. Congress from 1980's to the present. The Congressional Chronicle is a browsable calendar interface containing footage of floor debate, committee hearings, and other Congressional footage. Unrestricted access.
Cumulative summary of actions on all bills and resolutions. Separated into House and Senate Calendars. FDSYS: 1995-Present. Unrestricted access.