Skip to Main Content

Government Information: Congress, Bill Texts, Legislative History, Laws/Statutes

A law-oriented guide to public information provided by the U.S. federal government

Bill Texts & Votes

An enrolled bill is the final official copy of the bill or joint resolution which both the House and the Senate have passed in identical form. After it is certified by the chief officer of the house in which it originated (the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate), and then signed by the House Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tempore, the measure is sent to the President for signature.

An engrossed bill is the official copy of the bill or joint resolution as passed by one chamber, including the text as amended by floor action, and certified before it is sent to the other chamber.

For more information, see About Congressional Bills on the GovInfo website, and the LLSDC guide Sources for the Text of Congressional Bills and Resolutions, compiled by Rick McKinney and available here.

VOTES: See the Senate Virtual Reference guide "About Voting".

To Compile a Legislative History

How Our Laws Are Made

LLSDC's Legislative Sourcebook: detailed guides to researching U.S. federal legislation.

For more information on publicly accessible government information, see this guide by Gretchen Feltes of the NYU Law Library: Update: A Guide to the U.S. Federal Legal System: Web-Based Public Accessible Sources

Search for full-text Congressional hearings, documents, prints, and reports (use the Congressional Publications link), as well as compiled legislative histories for enacted public laws from the 91st Congress (1969/1970) to the present, bill tracking, and voting information (use the Legislative Histories, Bills & Laws link). ProQuest Congressional also has some other related publications, such as the Congressional Record. Many of the materials are in PDF. The Help Toolbox--Content Coverage Chart (bottom of search page) gives you the exact content and date scope for the Law Library's subscription.

HeinOnline Federal Legislative History Library. full-text compiled legislative histories of selected landmark laws.

CCH Congressional Index. A print looseleaf covering the 75th Congress (1937/38) to the present. A quick way to find the status of a bill or treaty, dates of hearings, names of sponsors, etc. Law Reading Room KF49.C6.

History of Bills reported in the Congressional Record, starting with the 98th Congress (1983/84). Earlier histories are in the Congressional Record Index.


Quick Links

ProQuest Congressional and HeinOnline may have earlier years than the GPO FDsys and other online options. For print copies, check Discovery and the Basic collections tab in this guide. For bill texts, see "Bill Texts & Votes" on this page.