About Committee Hearings of the U.S. Congress

Committee hearings are a method by which committee members gather information to inform committee business. Business dealt with by hearings may be broadly classified into four types: legislative, oversight, investigative, and consideration of presidential nominations. The Committee Consideration video tutorial explains hearings within the context of the legislative process. Nomination hearings are explained in the Executive Business in the Senate video tutorial. Hearings may be held on Capitol Hill or elsewhere (e.g., a committee member's district or state, or a site related to the subject of the hearing).

Committee websites provide access to hearings schedules, hearings video, and published hearings transcripts. Use Committees of the U.S. Congress to find committee websites. House Committee Hearings and Meetings Video provides access to live and archive hearings video from January 2012-present.

This guide describes information about committee hearings that is searchable within Congress.gov, and suggests sources for supplementary hearings information. Congress.gov provides links to hearings videos and transcripts. Announcements and actions related to hearings can be searched, but full texts of hearings are not searchable within Congress.gov at this time.

Hearings Schedules and Announcements

Announcements about future hearings are available from the House Committee Repository calendar, the Senate Daily Digest Committee Meetings/Hearings Schedule, and the most recent Daily Digest in the Congressional Record. Announcements are a good source for witness names and organizations. This search example returns the February 26, 2014 Daily Digest announcement that Seth Rogen would testify at a hearing about Alzheimer's.

Legislation with Hearings

Action Codes can be used to retrieve bills and resolutions with hearings.

Action Code Returns Bills With Sample Search
4100 House committee/subcommittee hearings congressId:113 AND actionCode:4100
13100 Senate committee/subcommittee hearings congressId:113 AND actionCode:131100

The "Committees" tab in legislative records is a good place to find the date and name of committees that held hearings. The Tualatin River Basin Water Supply Enhancement Act of 2003 is an example of a bill for which both House and Senate committees held hearings.

Nominations with Hearings

The "Status of Nominations" filter can be used to retrieve nominations with hearings by committee.