The following table illustrates how an idea for a law eventually becomes a codified law in the United States Code. Each of these resulting publications can be important for a researcher in understanding the purpose behind a certain law.
|Legislative Action||Resulting Publications|
|A bill or resolution is introduced in a chamber of Congress and referred to committee||Bills and resolutions|
|The committee holds hearings||Hearings|
|The committee recommends passage||Senate and House reports|
|Chamber debates||Record of debate|
|Chamber votes||Record of votes|
|President signs or vetoes the bill||Presidential statements|
|Law is enacted||
Slip laws, then Statutes at Large
|Law is incorporated into the United States Code (codified).||United States Code|
Top ten bills searched on THOMAS, compiled from weekly usage statistics. Compiled by the Law Library of Congress.
Identifies the latest bills and resolutions considered on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Compiled by the Law Library of Congress.
Identifies the latest bills, resolutions, nominations, and treaties considered on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Compiled by the Law Library of Congress.
Lists bills that have passed by both the House and Senate and have been sent to the White House for the President's signature. Compiled by the Law Library of Congress.
Summarizes floor and committee proceedings in the latest Congressional Record. Compiled by the Law Library of Congress.