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A Legislative history is the record of Congressional discussion that occurred before a law was passed. The process that leads to the passage a law creates many documents such as bills, hearings, committee reports, and committee prints. Debates, votes, presidential signing statements, and bill tracking reports may also be included in a compiled legislative history. The following resources provide compilations of legislative histories. For a more comprehensive list of sources see the Gallagher Law Library's guide to Federal Legislative History.
U.S. Federal Legislative History Library - Hein Online
1789-present. Find the legislative history and the text of the relevant documents by the title of an act, the Public Law number, or the act's Popular Name.
Access for all on-campus; login required from off-campus. 1969-present. Use the advanced search to limit your results to Legislative Histories.
LawTrack - CQ.com
Access for all on-campus; login required from off-campus. 1999-present. View all actions leading up to a law's passage as well as the previous laws that were changed by a law's passage. Links to relevant documents, such as the Congressional Record are included.
Bill Summary and Status - Congress.gov
1973-present. This resource from the Library of Congress list all "actions" taken on a bill, such as the bill's introduction, hearings held, votes recorded, and signed into law. The text of the bill, text of the act, and publications in the Congressional Record are linked. The text of hearings and reports are not linked.
History of Bills - GPO
1983-present. Gives a brief account of the actions a bill has gone through and provides citation information for related documents.
The third volume of each year contains detailed legislative histories. Histories included annotated citation information for each Public Law and its Reports, Bills, Debates, Hearings, Prints, Documents, and Presidential Remarks. In 2001 the title changed to CIS Index Annual. This index forms the core of the Proquest Congressional
database (Access for all on-campus; login required from off-campus).
: call number KF49 .C62
1984-2002 Held in the GovPub Stacks.
2000-2011 Held in the Gallagher Law Library
United States Code Congressional and Administrative News
1949-2000. Previously titled "United States Code Congressional and Administrative Service" and "United States Code Congressional Service", this publication contains a table correlating the number of each Public Law to the corresponding Statutes at Large citation, bill number, and committee report number. Select committee reports are also included Print only. Available in the GovPub Stacks, call number KF 48 .W45
How Congress Passes Laws Now
Research project by John Cannan (Villanova Law) reviewing how laws have been passed since the 111th Congress (2009 - ) and the information sources generated for each law. Contains downloadable spreadsheets with data about committees, votes, amendments, reports, and more.