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Tutt Library Research Guides


Congressional and Legislative Tracking: Bill, Laws and Presidential Action


When and who sponsored the bill in each chamber, the text of the House and Senate bills, and their numbers:

Congressional Universe
   Full text of bills and bill tracking is available from 1989 -
   Choose any of the bill databases.
   If full text is not available, use the Congressional Record or Digest of Public General Bills and Resolutions in paper (see below) for a bill summary

  Choose one of the “Congressional Bills” databases, 1993-

Bills and Resolutions
(DOCS Y 1.4/no., paper and microfiche)
Proposed bills and resolutions for each Congress.
Locate by using the paper Cumulative Finding Aid
Included are: Senate Bills (S.) (DOCS microfiche Y 1.4/1:);
  Senate Resolutions (S.Res.) (DOCS microfiche Y 1.4/2:);
  Senate Joint Resolutions (S.J.Res.) (DOCS microfiche Y 1.4/3:);
  Senate Concurrent Resolutions (S.Con.Res.) (DOCS microfiche Y 1.4/4:);
  House Bills (H.R.) (DOCS microfiche Y 1.4/6:);
  House Resolutions (H.Res.) (DOCS microfiche Y 1.4/7:);
  House Joint Resolutions (H.J.Res.) (DOCS microfiche Y 1.4/8:);
  House Concurrent Resolutions (H.Con.Res.) (DOCS microfiche Y 1.4/9:).

Look up bill number in index. To the right of each bill number is the fiche number where the bill appears. In the microfiche cabinet, 1) Locate the correct DOCS number for your type of bill (H.R. House Bills = Y 1.4/5:) 2) The correct Congress and Session (100th Congress, 2nd Session), and 3) Now look for the correct fiche number in the right hand corner of the microfiche. The bill should be on this piece of fiche. If you need a copy, take the fiche to the fiche copier located at the south end of the DOCS area.

Congressional Record [title varies], 1789-
(DOCS ENCLOSED, 1789-1899, DOCS X 1.1:1900-)
   “Senate Bills and Resolutions” and “House Bills and Resolutions” sections at the end of each year’s index volume gives sponsor and action.
   “History of Bills Enacted into Public Law” at the back of each year’s “Daily Digest” volume gives the bill number that was passed, its companion bill in the other chamber (if there was one), and when the bill was introduced.

Digest of Public General Bills and Resolutions, 1946-1990.
(DOCS, LC 14.6:)
  A concise summary for each session of Congress of provisions of public laws and other legislative measures with legislative history.
  Indexes for sponsors and cosponsors; short title; and subject.


Congressional Universe (CC and library use)
   Choose “Public Laws” or “Laws by Number”
   If you don’t find the public law, check the Histories or Bill Tracking database to track the fate of your bill.
   Search the Congressional Record for veto messages from the President.

   See Legislative Histories for Public Law numbers.

    Use the “Public Laws” database.

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 1965-
(DOCS AE 2.109)
   Statements, messages, and press conferences of the President on many subjects, including legislation.
   Annual and quarterly index.

Congressional Record [title varies], 1789-
(DOCS ENCLOSED, 1789-1899 and DOCS X 1.1:1900- and Online)
   Official record of the floor debates and votes of Congress.
   Includes veto messages from the President.
   "Senate Bills and Resolutions" and "House Bills and Resolutions" sections at the end of each year’s index volume give Presidential action and the appropriate pages of the Record in which this is discussed.

U.S. Statutes at Large, 1789-  (DOCS AE )
   Full text of all laws enacted in each Congress.
   Arranged in numerical order by law number (P.L.#)
   The index in each volume give PL #
   Laws 1789-1881 are on microfiche and filed at the end of the hearings (Y 4).

Major Legislation of the Congress, 1980-1992. (DOCS INDEX)
    Arranged by subject. Cites current and historical law on a topic.

"I'm Just a Bill"

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