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U.S. Senate Reference page
This is page is maintained and updated by the U.S. Senate's librarians. Researches may find Bibliographies, the "How To . . . " and Glossary pages helpful.
U.S. Code Popular Name Tables
When looking for a U.S. law, oftentimes you only know the popular name (e.g. Family and Medical Leave Act). Finding the citation is made easier by use of a popular name table. Below you will find two Web sites that list the popular name of laws and provide the citation to the Public Law or U.S. Code sections.
Follow the status of federal legislation by using trackers, subscribe to RSS feeds and email updates. Also available are voting records and information on members of Congress.
A service from C-SPAN that allows you to listen to Senate hearings live online.
From Congressional Quarterly and C-SPAN. Updated daily. Features a story by a CQ staff writer, link to CQ's Weekly update of "Bills to Watch," C-SPAN's on-demand video and live streams of House and Senate floor proceedings
Offers streaming and downloadable video feeds of all House proceedings. Searchable archive for the 111th Congress and section where one can view special events.
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress (1774- present)
Fields include last and first name, position (e.g. Representative, Senator, Delegate), State, Party, and/or Year or Congress to create customized lists and to access short biographies.
Official Congressional Directory
Index to members of Congress, committees, staff and agencies. Searchable by keyword and browsable by state or section. Includes Congressional District maps, biographies, and committee assignments. Available online via GPO Access (from 104th Congress (1995-96)).
The good news first: the U.S. Code is freely available on many sites. Unfortunately, most link to the official 2006 edition and recommend checking the Office of the Law Revision Counsel Classification Tables for updates. In addition, these sources link to the unannotated U.S. Code. If you are used to using Westlaw or Lexis, these drawbacks may bother you. If this is the case, I would recommend that you use Lexis Academic Universe.
GPO's FDsys U.S. Code
FDsys contains virtual main editions of the U.S. Code. After selecting a year, one may browse by title and section. To search, select "Advanced Search" and limit to the United States Code.
The Office of the Law Revision Counsel (2006 ed)
As stated above, the Office of the Law Revision Counsel publishes the U.S. Code. Of note on this site are the Classification Tables. The tables show where recently enacted laws will appear in the Code and which sections of the Code have been amended by those laws. The tables are a separate method of "updating" a section of the Code. Users can also download chapters and titles in PDF.
FindLaw's U.S. Code
May search by title and section or by keyword. To check if there have been any recent amendments to the section you are reading, FindLaw suggests checking the Office of the Law Revision Counsel's Classification Tables (see above).
Bills & Resolutions
GPO's FDsys Congressional Bills
Contains all published versions of bills from the 103rd (1993-1994) Congress forward. The current Congress' database is updated by 6am (EST) when bills are published and approved for release. May search by keyword or browse bills by Congress or type of legislation. Click on "About Congressional Bills" if you are new to Congressional research.
GPO's FDsys History of Bills
Lists legislative actions on bills that are reported in the Congressional Record. Covers 1983 to present. The current year's database is updated daily, usually the day after publication of the Congressional Record. A typical entry includes a bill number, summary, names of sponsors and cosponsors, and a chronological list of actions on the bill.
Thomas' Bills, Resolutions
May search (1) full text bills from the 101st Congress (1989) to current; (2) bill summary and status (which includes everything bu the text of the legislation) from the 93rd Congress (1973) to current; and (3) full-text bills from multiple congresses.
American Memory's Bills and Resolutions (historical)
From the Library of Congress. Scanned images of Senate bills and resolutions from the 16th Congress (1819-1820) to the 42nd Congress (1871-1873). Scanned images of House bills and resolutions from the 6th Congress (1799-1800) to the 42nd Congress (1871-1873).
Many Senate bills are printed in the Congressional Record, usually on the day they are introduced. If you are having trouble finding a bill online in any other location, you may want to try the Congressional Record. The link above takes you to the Senate Library's How to Find the Congressional Record page, which lists the locations for both Web and print access.
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications may be used as an online finding tool for electronic and print publications from the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the U.S. government (from July 1976 to present). It is updated daily and contains current and historical publications. Provides direct links to those publications available online. The monthly (with semiannual and annual indexes) print version ceased with no. 1345 (Dec. 2004). Consult the print Monthly Catalog for publications issued prior to July 1976. Check with your local federal depository library to locate copies of the print catalog and other items that are not available online.
The Government Printing Office (GPO) has launched a new federated search tool (link below).
Use it to search AGRICOLA Books, Access to Archival Databases (AAD) System - NARA, AUL Index to Military Periodicals, Catalog of U.S. Government Publication (CGP), Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Catalog Search, Library of Congress (LOC), PubMed, TRIS Online, and USA.gov.
Legislative History Research Guides
State Legislative History Research Guides on the Web
Compiling a legislative history can be a daunting task, especially if you are unfamiliar with this type of legal research. In fact, once you know the steps involved, legislative history research can be straightforward. Complied by Jennifer Bryan Morgan, Documents Librarian, Indiana University School of Law Library--Bloomington, this page provides researchers with an alphabetical list (by state) of all the legislative history guides available online.
LLSDC's Legislative Source Book
The Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C. (LLSDC)'s Legislative Source Book is compiled by members of the Legislative Research Special Interest Section. Some of this material has been published in print for many years, and is now also available on this Web site. Note the link to Legislative Histories of Selected U.S. Laws on the Internet, which is arranged by popular name and public law number.
Legislative History Sources
GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys)
The migration of information from GPO Access into FDsys was completed in March 2011. Search or retrieve by citation; May also browse government publications (link on the upper right, under Home or link in blue on the left).
Thomas' Congressional Record
The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the U.S. Congress. May search the full text from the 101st Congress (1989-1990) to the current Congress. May also view the Latest Daily Digest or Browse the Daily Issues. There is also a Keyword Index. May limit by member of Congress, by section of the Congressional Record and by date.
Thomas' Committee Reports
Available from the 104th Congress (1995-1996) to current Congress. May browse Committee Reports by House, Senate, Conference or Joint. Full text searchable. Limit by Committee or by date.
United States Congress Conference Reports
Reports from the current Congress and previous Congress. Links to complete document in PDF or ASCII.
Rutgers-Camden School of Law, U.S. Congressional Documents Archive
Full-text archive of selected Congressional Hearings and Committee Prints, dated from the 1970s to 1998. As of early July 2009, there were 8317 documents available, with plans to add new materials over the next several years. May browse listings or search full-text.
Library of Congress, American Memory, U.S. Congressional Documents & Debates, 1774-1875
Includes materials from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, Statutes & Documents, Journals of Congress, and the Debates of Congress.