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Congress, Legislation, etc.: Bills

describes Library holdings and major internet sources dealing with the operations of Congress, legislation, and regulation at the federal level

On Campus

There is no collection of Bills in the Blume Library, but the Law Library has a microfiche collection of bills from 1980 to the present. Congressional Universe includes Bills. This database is available for on-campus use AT THE LAW LIBRARY ONLY.

On this page

Internet Sources

The Government Publishing Office's Federal Digital System (FDSys) is the major online source for relatively recent bills.

GPO

More about Bills

Congress.gov offers advanced search and browsing features that make it a great place to find legislation and related Congressional material (except for Hearings). The "Legislation" link at the top of the page calls up all legislation since 1973 (full text only back to 1993) with the option to search within this database or limit the results in a variety of ways.

Bill tracking is made much easier by many of Congress.gov's features, including their tracking graphic which accompanies every legislative entry. Note that the type of legislation (bill, resolution) is clearly noted as well:

bill tracker

Other sources:

When there is disagreement between the House and Senate version of bills, the two groups meet in a conference to iron out the differences. In the first link below, you can find links to recent Conference Reports.

Other Congressional actions

There are several different types of Congressional action in addition to bills:  Resolutions, Joint Resolutions and Concurrent Resolutions.  The abbreviations used to cite these various documents can be difficult to decipher for someone unfamiliar with the system.  Here are some citation examples:

  • S. 500 means Senate Bill #500
  • S.Res. 13 means Senate Resolution #13
  • S.J.Res. 3 means Senate Joint Resolution #3
  • S.Con.Res. 11 means Senate Concurrent Resolution #11
  • H.R.344 means House Bill #344
  • H.Res. 6 means House Resolution #6
  • H.J.Res. 13 means House Joint Resolution #13
  • H.Con.Res. 5 means House Concurrent Resolution #5

checkTerminology note: once a Bill has been passed by either the House or the Senate, it becomes an Act.

For some explanations of the history and purpose of these different types of Congressional actions, consult the following websites:

Make your voice heard

exclamationThe first website/tool listed below (a play on the Latin phrase Vox Populi, or "Voice of the People," provides information on current bills and how they are faring in Congress. Some of their apps make it easy to contact your legislators in support or opposition to bills being considered. Our own LibGuide gives contact information and photos of all our local, state, and national representatives: