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PSC 264 - Congressional Politics: Tracing an Issue: Bill Tracking: Current Congress & Legislative Histories

Various sources and tools for tracing an issue that has been considered by Congress

U.S. House of Representatives

Includes Legislative activity such as floor proceedings, votes, bills and reports.

Committees - For recent legislation, the committee pages can provide a great deal of information about the legislative process behind the consideration of a statute.

U.S. Senate

Includes active legislation, scheduled hearings, votes, and more.

Committees  - Membership, hearings, legislative activity, committee reports.

Thomas - Library of Congress - allows bill tracking by keyword, bill number, sponsor, or committee. Limit by date or stage in the legislative process. Search & retrieve legislation from the 93rd to current congresses; it also includes the full text of all bills that have been submitted to the current session of Congress.

Search Bill Summary & Status -  includes: sponsor(s); cosponsor(s); official, short and popular titles; floor/executive actions; detailed legislative history; Congressional Record page references; bill summary; committees of referral; reporting and origin; subcommittees of referral; links to other committee information provided by the House of Representatives; amendment descriptions (and text, when available); subjects (indexing terms assigned to each bill); a link to the full text versions and if the bill has been enacted into law, a link to the full text of the law on the Government Printing Office Web site (in both text and .PDF formats).

Search bill text from multiple congresses - 

Legislative Histories

ProQuest Congressional.- Many bills take multiple years before becoming law. A Legislative History will identify all the pertinent documents associated with the law.  Search for specific testimony, debates, background reports, etc. Select Advanced Search to see full search options.

Thomas from 93rd Congress (1973-1974) to the present

  • Select Public Laws
  • Select the congress in which your law was enacted.
  • Select the appropriate range.
  • The entry will list the enacted bill number, the sponsor, the committees, the committee reports,
  • The linked bill number will display a comprehensive list of legislative activity surrounding the enacted bill and links to the legislative history documents associated with that bill.
  • The summary page for the enacted bill lists related bills, bill text, amendments, a CRS Summary, a list of all congressional actions, etc.
  • Click on All Congressional Actions with Amendments for a full chronological list of all legislative actions with links to the documents associate with those actions.