congressional resources

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C-SPAN is a cable television station that closely covers Congress, the White House, and national political events and information. Their website includes a video library of speeches, hearings, committee meetings, and other events of political interest.

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"Beginning with the Continental Congress in 1774, America's national legislative bodies have kept records of their proceedings. The records of the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the United States Congress make up a rich documentary history of the construction of the nation and the development of the federal government and its role in the national life. These documents record American history in the words of those who built our government.

Books on the law formed a major part of the holdings of the Library of Congress from its beginning. In 1832, Congress established the Law Library of Congress as a separate department of the Library. It houses one of the most complete collections of U.S. Congressional documents in their original format. In order to make these records more easily accessible to students, scholars, and interested citizens, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation brings together online the records and acts of Congress from the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention through the 43rd Congress, including the first three volumes of the Congressional Record, 1873-75." from web site

Materials are dated 1774-1875, when available. The following are components of this collection:

  • Journals of the Continental Congress
  • Letters of Delegates to Congress
  • Elliot's Debates
  • Farrand's Records
  • Bills and Resolutions
  • Statutes at Large
  • American State Papers
  • U.S. Serial Set
  • House Journal
  • Senate Journal
  • Senate Executive Journal
  • Maclay's Journal
  • Annals of Congress
  • Register of Debates
  • Congressional Globe
  • Congressional Record

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Major resources available through the U.S. House of Representatives web site include:

  • Currently on the House Floor
  • Access the Laws of the United States
  • Find a Bill, Amendment, or Debate
  • Find Vote Information
  • What does the House do?
  • Find your Representative

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Major resources available through the U.S. Senate web site include:

  • Session Schedule
  • Scheduled Hearings
  • Active Legislation
  • Votes
  • Floor Schedule
  • Virtual Reference Desk
  • Public Disclosure
  • Nominations
  • Statistics and Lists
  • Daily Digest, Senate Calendar, Executive Calendar
  • The Capitol Camera

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This resource provides the full text of bills beginning with the 103rd Congress (1993-94).

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"he Congressional Calendars collection includes the Calendars of the U.S. House of Representatives and History of Legislation and the Senate Calendar of Business. The Calendars of the U.S. House of Representatives and History of Legislation is prepared under the direction of the Clerk of the House of Representatives by the Office of Legislative Operations. It is published daily by 8:00 a.m. when the House is in session. The Senate Calendar of Business is prepared under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate by the Legislative Clerk. It is updated each day the Senate is in session."--from web site

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"Congressional Committee Prints are publications issued by Congressional Committees that include topics related to their legislative or research activities, as well as other matters such as memorial tributes. The prints are an excellent resource for statistical and historical information, and for legislative analysis. The subjects of the Committee Prints vary greatly due to the different concerns and actions of each committee. Some basic categories of Congressional Committee Prints are: draft reports and bills, directories, statistical materials, investigative reports, historical reports, situational studies, confidential staff reports, hearings, and legislative analyses."--from web site

This resource includes Committee Prints going back to the 102nd Congress (1991-92).

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"The Congressional Directory is the official directory of the U.S. Congress, prepared by the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP). Published since 1888, the Congressional Directory presents short biographies of each member of the Senate and House, listed by state or district, and additional data, such as committee memberships, terms of service, administrative assistants and/or secretaries, and room and telephone numbers. It also lists officials of the courts, military establishments, and other Federal departments and agencies, including D.C. government officials, governors of states and territories, foreign diplomats, and members of the press, radio, and television galleries.

According to the U.S. Code (44USC721), the Congressional Directory is made available during the first session of each new Congress. In addition, the database for the current Congress is updated irregularly, as changes are provided by the JCP." from web site

The online version includes the directories back to the 104th Congress (1995-96).

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"The Congressional Documents collection consists of House Documents, Senate Documents, and Senate Treaty Documents. House and Senate documents contain various kinds of materials ordered to be printed by both chambers of Congress. Documents can include reports of executive departments and agencies, as well as committee prints, that were ordered to be printed as documents. Senate Treaty Documents contain the text of a treaty as it is submitted to the U. S. Senate for ratification by the President of the United States."--from web site

This resource includes documents back to the 99th Congress (1985-86).

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"A hearing is a meeting or session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress, usually open to the public, to obtain information and opinions on proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate/oversee the activities of a government department or the implementation of a Federal law. In addition, hearings may also be purely exploratory in nature, providing testimony and data about topics of current interest. Most congressional hearings are published two months to two years after they are held."--from web site

FDsys includes hearings going back to the 99th Congress (1985-86).

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"Congressional reports originate from congressional committees and deal with proposed legislation and issues under investigation. There are two types of reports:

"House and Senate Reports: Reports of congressional committees concerning proposed legislation and/or contain findings on matters under investigation.

"Senate Executive Reports: Reports of the Committee on Foreign Relations relating to treaties between the United States and foreign nations which have been submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification, or are reports of various Senate committees regarding nomination of individuals."--from web site

This resource includes Congressional Reports going back to the 104th Congress (1995-96).

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"The Congressional Research Service (CRS) does not provide direct public access to its reports, requiring citizens to request them from their Member of Congress. Some Members, as well as several non-profit groups, have posted the reports on their Web sites. This site aims to provide integrated, searchable access to many of the full-text CRS reports that have been available at a variety of different Web sites since 1990." from web site

This content is hosted by the University of North Texas Libraries.

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"CongressLink provides information about the U.S. Congress -- how it works, its members and leaders, and the public policies it produces. CongressLink is directed to teachers of American Government and civics. It is multi-featured, offering original content (including lesson plans and historical materials) and up-to-the-minute information about Congress." --from web site

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"To provide American citizens direct online access to the basic Federal Government documents that define our democratic society, a core group of current and historical "This collection provides American citizens with direct online access to the basic Federal Government documents that define our democratic society. These titles contain information about the democratic process that are critical to informed citizens. They support the public's right to know about the essential activities of their Government" from web site

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"The Congressional Research Service, an arm of the Library of Congress, serves the legislative process by providing Congress with non-partisan and in-depth legislative research and analysis on a variety of topics. CRS produces or updates more than 3,000 studies and other publications each year, none of which are distributed to the public. Because CRS reports are created using public money and are not readily accessible to the research community, the Thurgood Marshall Law Library has created an online collection in the subject areas of Homeland Security/Terrorism and Health Law and Policy." from web site

This collection of CRS reports is hosted by the Thurgood Marshall Law Library at the University of Maryland School of Law.

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"GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys) provides public access to Government information submitted by Congress and Federal agencies and preserved as technology changes."

FDsys is a major resource for current publications from Congress and the White House. Use the Advanced Search or Retrieve by Citation to find information from specific resources such as the Compilation of Presidential Documents or Congressional Documents.

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"The History of Bills lists legislative actions on bills that are reported in the Congressional Record, which has been published since 1874. In print it is part of the Congressional Record Index, the biweekly publication from the Joint Committee on Printing, but on FDsys it is a separate collection."--from web site

This resource goes back to the 98th Congress (1983-84).

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The Office of the Clerk provides detailed and updated official information about the members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

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This resource includes slip laws going back to the 104th Congress (1995-96).

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"The United States Statutes at Large, typically referred to as the Statutes at Large, is the permanent collection of all laws and resolutions enacted during each session of Congress. The Statutes at Large is prepared and published by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

"Under the provisions of 1 U.S.C. 112, the printed edition of the Statutes at Large is legal evidence of the laws, concurrent resolutions, proclamations by the President, and proposed and ratified amendments to the Constitution."--from web site

This resource includes Statutes at Large going back to Volume 117, 2003. A digitized version of Statutes at Large is available in FDsys for the period 1951-2002.

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THOMAS makes federal legislative information freely available to the public, beginning with the 104th Congress (1995-1996). Features and content includes:

  • Bills, Resolutions
  • Activity in Congress
  • Congressional Record
  • Schedules, Calendars
  • Committee Information
  • Presidential Nominations
  • Treaties
  • Other Government Resources

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