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The Official Website containing Membership information, Committee Chairs/Members, House organization, House schedules (bill introductions, committee hearings, debates, etc), and other pertinent information related to House Congressional activities.
The House Rules and Manual is published by the the House Parliamentarian's Office and contains the fundamental source material for parliamentary procedure used in the House of Representatives. It is published during the first session of each Congress
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. Available from 1995 (104th Congress) to present.
Not sure of your congressional district or who your member is? This service will assist you by matching your ZIP code to your congressional district, with links to your member's website and contact page. (Also FAQ)
The Legislative Process (from the Library of Congress)
This Congressional Research Service report provides an overview of federal legislative history research, the legislative process, and where to find congressional documents. The report also summarizes some of the reasons researchers are interested in legislative history, briefly describes the actions a piece of legislation might undergo during the legislative process, and provides a list of easily accessible print and electronic resources. This report will be updated as needed.
Federal legislative histories are compilations of related documents to a specific U.S. public law that generally precede the law's enactment. These documents can include related committee reports (including the conference report), debates, earlier texts of the bill(s), floor amendments, congressional hearings, committee prints, and other documents. The history of the bill's (or bills') development is normally set out as well including related legislation in previous Congresses. These compilations and chronologies are usually compiled by in-house legislative librarians or legislative specialists in a law firm, agency, court, or publishing company. Occasionally, histories are also produced by congressional committees or by commercial publishers often with related laws.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) does not provide direct public access to its reports, requiring citizens to request them from their Members of Congress. Some Members, as well as several non-profit groups, have posted the reports on their web sites. This site is not affiliated with the Congressional Research Service, but 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.
CRSReports.com is a free web based repository of Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports. This digital library is dedicated to hosting an extensive collection of CRS documents. All information provided by CRSReports.com is publicly available and can be accessed for free without sign-up or registration. This growing collection of CRS reports is made freely available to policy makers (including Hill staffers who while off of the Hill may decide not to login into the Capitol intranet) and other users for purposes beneficial to our political system and the public. CRS has been doing research for lawmakers for 101 years, with the goal of allowing members of Congress to pursue potentially controversial issues without fear of criticism from political opponents. Sometimes lawmakers request the studies; sometimes researchers do them in anticipation of congressional interest.
20 years of CRS annual reports online, including lists of the reports published by the agency. The report lists are available for viewing and downloading here. From there one can tell what has been published and search it on google for a digitized version or request from one's congressman.
EveryCRSReport.com includes 8,255 CRS reports. The number changes regularly. It’s every CRS report that’s available on Congress’s internal website.
They redact the phone number, email address, and names of virtually all the analysts from the reports, add disclaimer language regarding copyright and the role CRS reports are intended to play and that’s it. For older reports, CRSReports.com may have them. They also show how much a report has changed over time (whenever CRS publishes an update), provide RSS feeds, and they hope to add more features in the future.
My Congressional District gives you quick and easy access to selected statistics collected by the U.S. Census Bureau through the American Community Survey (ACS) and County Business Patterns (CBP). The ACS provides detailed demographic, social, economic, and housing statistics every year for the nation's communities. CBP provides annual statistics for businesses with paid employees at a detailed geography and industry level. My Congressional District is powered by ACS and CBP data through the Census Application Programming Interface (API).
The Official Website containing Membership Information, Committee assignments, floor schedules, hearings, debates, and other pertinent information related to the daily operations of the U.S. Senate.
Pursuant to Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, treaty-making power lies with the President, with consent of the Senate. That means that the President (usually the President's representatives) negotiates, drafts, and signs all treaties. Until the Senate consents, however, the signed treaty has no force. The President may choose to submit the treaty to the Senate immediately, or wait until there is a greater likelihood of obtaining the necessary two-thirds vote. Many treaties signed by the United States have never been ratified, not because Senate rejected them, but because they were withdrawn from the Senate or never submitted by the President. If the Senate approves, the treaty is officially ratified and proclaimed by the President. Note that "executive agreements" (which are less formal than treaties) may be concluded by the President without consent of the Senate, under his constitutional authority to conduct foreign affairs. Below are several links to find and research historical and current treaties in force.
Under Article II of the Constitution, the President has the power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint Judges of the Supreme Court. Since Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life, each nomination to the Supreme Court has a long-lasting influence on the Court and on the day-to-day life of every American.
Supreme Court Nominations, 1789-present
he Constitution requires the president to submit nominations to the Senate for its advice and consent. Since the Supreme Court was established in 1789, presidents have submitted 161 nominations for the Court, including those for chief justice. Of this total, 124 were confirmed (7 declined to serve). This chart lists nominations officially submitted to the Senate.
Senate Calendar (1995- present)
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. It identifies bills and resolutions awaiting Senate floor actions.
A History of Notable Senate Investigations
Congressional investigations date back to 1792 when the House passed a resolution to examine the disastrous St. Clair expedition. Since then Congress has conducted hundreds of investigations. This lists investigations from 1859 to 1989.
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) annual edition is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. The 50 subject matter titles contain one or more individual volumes, which are updated once each calendar year, on a staggered basis. The annual update cycle is as follows: titles 1-16 are revised as of January 1; titles 17-27 are revised as of April 1; titles 28-41 are revised as of July 1; and titles 42-50 are revised as of October 1. Each title is divided into chapters, which usually bear the name of the issuing agency. Each chapter is further subdivided into parts that cover specific regulatory areas. Large parts may be subdivided into subparts. All parts are organized in sections, and most citations to the CFR refer to material at the section level.
Congress.gov is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information. The site provides access to accurate, timely, and complete legislative information for Members of Congress, legislative agencies, and the public. It is presented by the Library of Congress (LOC) using data from the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, the Government Printing Office, Congressional Budget Office, and the LOC's Congressional Research Service. It replaces Thomas.gov which was launched in 1995.
Congress.gov is usually updated the morning after a session adjourns. Consult Coverage Dates for Legislative Information for the specific update schedules and start date for each collection. The site also includes a search for treaty documents, from 1949 to the present.
Congressional bills are legislative proposals from the House of Representatives and Senate within the United States Congress. There are eight different types of bills. There are numerous different bill versions that track a bill through the legislative process from introduction through passage by both chambers (enrolled version). All final published bill versions are available from GPO.
The House Calendar contains a history of both House and Senate bills and resolutions that have been reported or considered by either house. In addition, the issue for the first legislative day of each week that the House is in session includes a legislative history of bills through conference, an index of short titles, an index of major subject headings, and an alphabetical index. If Congress is not in session on a Monday, these sections will be printed on either the prior Friday or the next day that the House is in session. FDsys contains the daily issues of the House Calendar for the current session of Congress, as well as the final calendars for the previous sessions of Congress back to the 104th Congress.
The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress since 1873 up until today. It is published daily when Congress is in session.
At the end of each session of Congress, all of the daily editions are collected, re-paginated, and re-indexed into a permanent, bound edition. This permanent edition, referred to as the Congressional Record (Bound Edition), is made up of one volume per session of Congress, with each volume published in multiple parts, each part containing approximately 10 to 20 days of Congressional proceedings. The primary ways in which the bound edition differs from the daily edition are continuous pagination; somewhat edited, revised, and rearranged text; and the dropping of the prefixes H, S, and E before page numbers.
When searching over the Congressional Record (Bound Edition) on govinfo (see also https://www.govinfo.gov/help/crecb#about), you will be searching over the official business for each day's proceedings of Congress. This includes the House, Senate, and Extensions of remarks sections.
The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It is published daily when Congress is in session. FDsys contains Congressional record volumes from 140 (1994) to the present. At the back of each daily issue is the "Daily Digest," which summarizes the day's floor and committee activities.
The Congressional Record Index (CRI) serves as the index to the Congressional Record. When Congress is in session, the Joint Committee on Printing publishes the Congressional Record Index biweekly. In print, the Congressional Record Index contains both the index proper and the History of Bills and Resolutions. The History of Bills and Resolutions is a separate collection in FDsys.
The index proper lists individuals, organizations, and topics mentioned in the Congressional Record. Each CRI entry refers to a page number in the Congressional Record and the date of the daily issue in the format "S1234 [19JA]" (page 1234 in the Senate section from the January 19 issue for that year).
A very up-to-date citizen's congressional directory for the current Congress. As of May 30, 2014 there are 538 electronic contact addresses (of which 537 are Web-based contact forms), and 538 home pages known for the 540 members of the 113th Congress. Traditional ground mail addresses are available for all current members of Congress. Includes committees and their member composition as well. A version in Spanish is also available.
Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.
Brief explanations of legislative terms used throughout Congress.gov. In-depth descriptions are provided in "About" Committees, Committee Reports, Congressional Record, Legislation, Members, and Nominations.
Track bills in Congress, your representative’s voting records, upcoming committee meetings, and get alerts by email. Launched in 2004, GovTrack helps everyone learn about and track the activities of the United States Congress. This is a project of Civic Impulse, LLC. GovTrack.us is not a government website.
Search for and retrieve individual Members by Name, Hometown, State/Territory, District, Term Count, Bio Data, Birth Date, Place Of Birth, WebSite, Zip Code, Counties/Parishes, Office Building or groups of Members by state, party affiliation, or number of terms. Link to individual Member's corresponding information in the Biographical Directory maintained by the House and Senate and link to individual member web pages.
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.
A one of a kind interactive visualization that allows anyone to explore actual patterns of lawmaking in Congress. Get the ‘big picture’ Compare the bills and resolutions introduced by Senators and Representatives and follow their progress from the beginning to the end of a two year Congress. Dive deeper Filter by topic, type of legislation, chamber, party, member, or even search for a specific bill.
LegiStorm launched in September 2006 to bring valuable information about the people of Congress to the public. They became widely known by being the only online source for staff salaries, financial disclosures, trips, gifts and earmarks. They’ve expanded offerings to include the most accurate and up-to-date contact information and the most detailed intelligence on Hill staffers available. They are fiercely non-partisan and receive no funding from any political group apart from their paid subscriptions to our products. They provide basic information about congressional staff salaries and other information for free, on limited basis, as a service to the general public.
Public and private laws are also known as slip laws. A slip law is an official publication of the law and is competent evidence admissible in all state and Federal courts and tribunals of the United States. Public laws affect society as a whole, while private laws affect an individual, family, or small group. After the President signs a bill into law, it is delivered to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) where it is assigned a law number, legal statutory citation (public laws only), and prepared for publication as a slip law. Private laws receive their legal statutory citations when they are published in the United States Statutes at Large. Prior to publication as a slip law, OFR also prepares marginal notes and citations for each law, and a legislative history for public laws only. Until the slip law is published, through the U.S. GPO, the text of the law can be found by accessing the enrolled version of the bill.
The United States Code is the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States. It is divided by broad subjects into 51 titles and published by the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives. The U.S. Code was first published in 1926. The next main edition was published in 1934, and subsequent main editions have been published every six years since 1934. In between editions, annual cumulative supplements are published in order to present the most current information. The U.S. Code does not include regulations issued by executive branch agencies, decisions of the Federal courts, treaties, or laws enacted by State or local governments. Regulations issued by executive branch agencies are available in the Code of Federal Regulations. Proposed and recently adopted regulations may be found in the Federal Register.
The Week in Congress began as a weekly newspaper column in 1992. Today, it continues as a much-expanded, online weekly summary of the activities of the Senate and House of Representatives. On the site, readers will find a summary, usually published on Thursdays and updated on Fridays, of the bills and amendments that have been proposed and voted on during the week. TheWeekinCongress.com is produced by Legislation News & Report LLC, a Florida Company.
Vital Statistics on Congress, first published in 1980, long ago became the go-to source of impartial data on the United States Congress. Its purpose is to collect and provide useful data on America’s first branch of government, including data on the composition of its membership, its formal procedure (such as the use of the filibuster), informal norms, party structure, and staff. With some chapters of data dating back nearly 100 years, Vital Statistics also documents how Congress has changed over time, illustrating, for example, the increasing polarization of Congress and the diversifying demographics of those who are elected to serve.
Guide to Research Collections of Former United States Senators, 1789-1995 provides a list of archival repositories housing former senators’ papers and related materials. This publication’s content can be accessed in the online Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress under the "Research Collections" menu option.
Compiled by Senate historians, Senators of the United States: A Historical Bibliography lists scholarly works about U.S. senators. Bibliographies for all U.S. senators can be found in the online Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress under the menu option "Bibliography."
The Art & History bibliography lists more literature about the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Capitol.
The United States Congressional Biographical Data Series
The data provide information on congressional service and selected biographical characteristics for each person who had served in the United States Congress in the period 1789-1996. A data record exists for every Congress in which an individual served, as well as for each chamber in which a person may have served in a given Congress. The record includes political party affiliation, district, state and region represented, and exact and cumulative dates of service in each Congress and in each chamber, as well as total congressional service. Log in to ICPSR is required (Union is a member).
The Congressional Timeline, developed and maintained by The Dirksen Congressional Center, arrays more than 900 of the nation's laws on a timeline beginning with the first Congress in 1789 and continuing to the 2013. A second timeline "band" depicts major political events as context for Congress's law-making.
Congressional Research Tutorials
These tutorials show you how to find congressional information (bills, hearings, debates) in the library and online. They are flash videos and should begin playing automatically. Courtesy of UC Berkeley.
Act- In the U.S., specifically legislation that has passed both Houses of Congress and approved by the President, or passed over his veto, thus becoming law.Actmay sometimes be used for a bill that has been passed by one House of Congress, or a law enacted by a state legislature. Alternative terms: Statute, Law. In general, a system of widely acknowledged compulsory regulation that governs the behavior of people or groups. Acts may be found at the U.S. Code siteor HeinOnline's listing of the U.S. Statutes at Large (those Acts that are now law).
Amendment - A proposal by a member of a legislative body to alter the language of a bill or act or the final product of the process of amending a law or constitution. It is voted on in the same manner as a bill.Amendments may significantly change the effects of the original bill. The Constitution of the United States, as provided in Article 5, may be amended when two thirds of each house of Congress approves a proposed amendment and three fourths of the states thereafter ratify (confirm) it. The U.S. Constitution and its Amendments may be found at the U.S. Archives.
Annual Report - Every government agency produces an annual report, a document which chronicles the events and activities of that agency and its sub-agencies. They often include statistics, reports of any legislation regarding the agency, and other departmental highlights. The Department of Agriculture's annual report is called a Yearbook.
Bill - A proposed law formally introduced in the legislature. Most legislative proposals are in the form of bills and are designated as H.R. (House of Representatives) or S. (Senate), depending on the House in which they originate, and are numbered consecutively in the order in which they are introduced during each Congress. Public bills deal with general questions and become Public Laws, or Acts, if approved by Congress and signed by the President. Private bills deal with individual matters such as claims against the Federal Government, immigration and naturalization cases, land titles, et cetera, and become private laws if approved and signed. Bills may be found at FDsys (1993-present).
Bulletin, Newsletter, or Circular-All three terms are used interchangeably and commonly refer to series publications from the Executive branch.
Case (Legal) -A lawsuit or formal argument. Used instead of Hearing for trial proceedings and legal transcripts. Legal cases from U.S. federal and state courts may be found at LexisNexis Academic's case search option. You can search by citation (if you know it), party names, legal topics, judges involved, attorneys, or keyword, and narrow your search by jurisdiction or date.
Census -In the U.S., a decennial (every ten years) count and survey of the total population of the U.S., conducted by the Bureau of the Census. This allows for accurate tax apportioning and adjustments in representation in the House of Representatives. Census information may be found at the Census Bureau.
Committee Report - A document covering the proceedings of Congressional committees before they send a bill back to the floor. Reports present a committee's alterations of a bill (if applicable), information about the intent of a bill, the committee's recommendation that the bill pass, and any dissenting views. These include both House and Senate reports. Committee Reports may be found in the library catalog, the Serial Set database, or THOMAS(current session).
Concurrent Resolution -A measure similar to a bill, named "H Con Res" or "S Con Res." It requires the approval of both houses of Congress, but does not need the President's signature. Concurrent resolutions are used to make or amend Congressional rules or express the opinion of the Congress on some issue. They are also used when there is a Legislative veto over a President's exercise of power. Concurrent Resolutions may be found at FDsys (1993-present).
Conference Report - The compromise version of a bill produced by the joint House/Senate committee that they send back to both houses for final approval.
Congressional Record - A somewhat verbatim record of the proceedings in the House and Senate, printed daily. Members may edit their remarks and speeches for grammatical errors and may insert material, called an "extension of material," that they did not say during the session. The Congressional Record may be accessed through the GPO (1994-present), HeinOnline (1873-five years ago), or THOMAS(current session).
Joint Resolution - A measure similar to a bill, named "H J Res" or "S J Res." It requires a majority vote from both houses and the signature of the executive, except when the resolution is a proposal of amendment to the Constitution, which does not require the President's signature. It is primarily used by Congress to approve of Executive actions in foreign affairs or pass one-time appropriation bills for dedicated purposes. Joint Resolutions may be found at FDsys (1993-present).
Law - A bill that has passed both houses of Congress and the President. See Act. In general, a system of widely acknowledged compulsory regulation that governs the behavior of people or groups.
Resolution - A measure adopted by one of the chambers of a legislative body, called either "H Res" or "S Res." it does not require approval by the other house or the President. Simple resolutions do not carry the weight of law, but are usually used to make or amend procedural rules or express the opinion of that house on some issue of foreign policy or other Executive matter.Resolutions may be found at FDsys (1993-present).
Definitions adapted from Garner, Bryan A. A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage, 2nd ed. NY: Oxford University Press, 1995. Print. 340.03 G234d 1995; Government Printing Office. "Glossary."Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government. Government Printing Office, 28 April 2009. Web. 14 December 2010; Plano, Jack C., & Greenberg, Milton. The American Political Dictionary. NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967. Print. 320.03 P712a 1967; and Robertson, David. The Routledge Dictionary of Politics, 3rd ed. NY: Routledge, 2004. Print. 320.03 R6495R.