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Legislative History: A Guide to Library Research

Federal Programs, Directories, Catalogs

Introduced Bills

Popular Names of Public Laws

Bill Number


Committee Prints

Committee prints are an informational background tool used by committees to bring their members up to speed on facts and aspects of a topic under consideration in a bill which has been sent to their committee for investigation and analysis.

Committee prints are often prepared by (but not limited to) the Congressional Research Service.

Committee Hearings

Hearings are an information-gathering tool of Congress, Committees or Subcommittees may hear testimony from individuals with relevant information regarding a topic covered by a bill. Hearings can be held anywhere in the United States.

Information obtained during hearings contributes to the general understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of a bill under consideration.

Committees may hold several hearings as needed to obtain the information they feel would be valuable in helping the committee arrive at a consensus regarding the bill under review.

Committee Reports

Committee reports are relatively self-explanatory; they are the final report of the committee (or subcommittee) on their findings, analysis and recommendation of a bill under consideration.

Markups, Debates, Votes

Enrolled Bill (Act)

Public Laws

US Code

The subject organization of public laws (statutes). The US Code consists of 54 titles (subjects) followed by section numbers.

Federal Regulations

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents

Contains most of the official, public presidential papers through the Wilson administration. (HathiTrust digitized book)

Legislative Histories, Prepared