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Federal Legislative History: Documents & Sources

Prepared by Frank Houdek, SIU Law Library — Spring 2008

PROCESS DOCUMENTS PRINT SOURCES (at SIU) GOVT. ELECT. SOURCES COMMERCIAL ELECT. SOURCES
1. IDEA

suggestions, hearings, messages

     
2. LEGISLATION DRAFTED

bill
(as originally introduced and as amended)

microfiche collection: 96th Cong. (1984–85) to current (Fiche D-S 0035)

  • LexisNexis Congressional (1989 to current)
  • LexisNexis → Legal → Legislation & Politics – U.S. & U.K. → U.S. Congress → Congressional Full Text Bills, Current & Historical (101st Cong. (1989–90) to current)
  • Westlaw → Directory → U.S. Federal → Bill Tracking → Congressional Bills (104th Cong. (1995–96) to current)
3. TO COMMITTEE

committee hearings
(may occur in either House or Senate)

CIS Index (KF 49 .C62) → CIS (1970–83, Fiche H-S 0001) or GPO (1983 to current, Fiche D-S 0253) microfiche collections

  • GPO AccessLegislative → Congressional Hearings (104th Cong. (1995–96) to current, selected)
  • Thomas → available through links to committee pages on House and Senate websites
  • LexisNexis Congressional (1988 to current, selected)
  • LexisNexis → Legal → Legislation & Politics – U.S. & U.K. → U.S. Congress → Committee Hearing Transcripts (1988 – current, coverage varies)
  • Westlaw → Directory → U.S. Federal → Legislative History → U.S. Congressional Testimony (1993–96, selected coverage; 1996 – current, full coverage)
4. COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

committee report(s)
(may occur in either House or Senate)

  • CIS Index → CIS (1970–83, Fiche H-S 0001) or GPO (1983 – present: House reports, Fiche D-S 0054; Senate reports, Fiche D-S 0055) microfiche collections
  • United States Code Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN) (KF48 .U5) (arranged by P.L. No.; selected reports only)
  • GPO AccessLegislative → Congressional Reports (104th Cong. (1995–96) to current)
  • Thomas (104th Cong. (1995–96) to current)
  • LexisNexis Congressional (1990 to current (limited coverage for 1990))
  • LexisNexis → Legal → Legislation & Politics – U.S. & U.K. → U.S. Congress → Committee Reports (1990 to current (selected coverage of 101st & 102nd Cong.))
  • Westlaw → Directory → U.S. Federal → USCCAN → Legislative History Reports. (1948–89, selected reports; 1990 to current, complete)
5. FLOOR DEBATE

transcript of debate

Congressional Record
(KF35 .A5) (Use “History of Bills and Resolutions” in Index volume to find pages on which debate occurs)

  • LexisNexis Congressional (1985 to current)
  • LexisNexis → Legal → Legislation & Politics – U.S. & U.K. → U.S. Congress → Congressional Record (99th Cong. (1985–86) to current)
  • Westlaw → Directory → U.S. Federal → Legislative History → Congressional Record (99th Cong. (1985–86) to current)
  • HeinOnline → U.S. Congressional Documents → Congressional Record (1873–1920; 1978–2003)
6. RECONCILIATION

conference report

same as 4

same as 4

same as 4

7. PRESIDENTIAL ACTION

presidential message
(when signing or vetoing the legislation)

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (J80 .A284)

  • GPO AccessExecutive → Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 29 (1993) to current)
  • LexisNexis → Legal → Federal Legal – U.S. → Executive Branch Materials → Public Papers of the Presidents (1979 – current)
  • Westlaw → Directory → U.S. Federal → USCCAN → Presidential Messages and Signing Statements (1986 to current)

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