How to Find U. S. Congressional Bills and Resolutions


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Tath Haver
Research Services
Sawyer Library

You are writing a paper ...

... on the assassination of President Kennedy. 

  • full-text of all Congressional investigations
  • who was on them / what they reported
  • assessments and revisions of protection plans for the Chief Executive

... for your Environmental Studies class on toxic waste disposal.

  • Congressional Hearings offer testimony of witnesses and experts on the merits of the legislation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 [Superfund Act].
  • Congressional Record offers the arguments and debates concerning it.

... in Art History on the art import trade in the 19th C and how it affected the production of American Art.

  • Documents in the Congressional Serial Set contain tariff tables (and why they were levied) on art imported from France in 19th Century.
  • Congressional hearings help understand the reasoning behind the tariffs.

... in Sociology on racism in the criminal justice system and need to know why there are disparities in the sentencing guidelines regarding crack / powder cocaine convictions in the 1980s / 1990s.

  • The Congressional Record from June of 1986 provides full-text of debates on the topic, including Sen. Lawton Chiles who says: "But clearly those dealing in rock and crack cocaine should face the stiffest penalties that law allows."
  • A CRS Report from 2010 is available: Federal Cocaine Sentencing Disparity: Sentencing Guidelines, Jurisprudence, and Legislation

... in Environmental Studies on the use of biofuels to combat greenhouse gases. What was Congress thinking when it passed laws regulating the amount of ethanol in gasoline?

  • The Legislative History of P.L. 99-514, Tax Reform Act of 1986, includes links and information about every bill, hearing and debate in the issue.
  • Congressional Research Service Reports, issued regularly, provide up to date summaries of all ethanol and gas tax issues.

... for Economics on the minimum wage; how can I find what arguments policy makers have made about the issue?

  • Congressional Research Services Reports will give you background on all proposed legislation from 1916-on.
  • Congressional Record provides the full-text of all the impassioned debates on wages and income disparity.