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Federal Legislative History Research: Home

Legislative History Materials


  • Bills

  • Legislative Hearings

  • Committee Reports

  • Debates

  • Committee Documents

  • Committee Prints


    Library of Congress Federal Legislative History: A Beginner's Guide

    A comprehensive research guide on finding federal legislative history documents, including congressional committee reports and hearings, presidential signing statements, and the debates of Congress.

    Legislative Terms

    Not sure of the difference between an engrossed bill and an enrolled bill? Check

    Senate Glossary of Legislative Terms

    What is a Legislative History

    The compilation of documents produced during the legislative process of a law is called the legislative history.

    These documents contain the information considered by a legislature, prior to reaching a decision on whether or not to enact a law.

    When are Legislative Histories used?

    • to seek the current status of a bill
    • to determine where a bill is in the legislative process 
    • to determine the intent or meaning of an enacted law through the consideration of the documents produced in the process (statutory intent).

    Congressional Sessions

    Not sure when the 106th Congress is?  Here are the dates for each Session of Congress:

    Dates of Congressional Sessions




    Subject Guide

    Legislative History Guides