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Federal Legislative History Research: Home

Legislative History Materials


  • Bills

  • Legislative Hearing Transcripts

  • Committee Reports

  • Congressional Debate Transcripts

  • Committee Prints

  • Other Committee Documents


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 112th Congress was in session?  The dates for each Session of Congress can be found here:

Dates of Congressional Sessions


Subject Guide

Legislative History Guides