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Free Legislative History

Committee Links

Committee Hearings

Committee Hearings are used by the committees to obtain information and opinions on proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate a government department or implementation of laws. While the hearings can shed some insight, the witnesses call to testify will often represent a specific interest, which may or may not shed light on legislative intent. 

Committee Reports

Committee reports are seen as one of the most important and influential legislative history documents. Generally, if a chamber votes to recommend a bill to the full chamber, a report accompanies a bill, which members of the House and Senate will review. The report will often cover the background and need for legislation, cost estimate, constitutional authortiy statement, and a section-by-section analysis of the legislation.  

Committee Prints

While prints can be a great source for statistical and historical information on a topic, they are viewed as internal background information for the committees to use whey they are considering a bill. For that reason, their public distribution can be sparse and vary amongst the committees. 

Congressional Research Service Reports

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a nonpartisan department of the Library of Congress that provides policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate. 

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