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Following FY2017 appropriations? Learn more about budget and appropriations resources on Congress.gov.04-27-2017
General - All Sources  
 

Alerts on Saved Searches

Congress.gov now offers the ability to set up alerts on saved searches. When creating a search to save, set the search results Sort by to Newest to Oldest in order to see what is new at the top of your search results. After saving your search, click the Get alerts link at the top of the page. You will receive an email by 9 am each day your search has new items. For more information, see the In Custodia Legis blog post.

 

Bill Texts Browse Page

Use the Bill and Law Texts Received Today browse page to find the text versions most recently added to Congress.gov.  The list can be sorted by order received or by bill number.

 

Congress.gov Resources

From accounts to zip codes, the Resources link is your gateway to an A to Z directory of research guides, help pages, legislative information sources, and more.  Find the link in the header and footer of every Congress.gov page.

 

Current Legislative Activities

What’s happening on the floor today? See the Congress.gov homepage for links to bills being considered today.

 

Filter Search Results with Policy Terms

Use the Subject – Policy Area filter on any search results page or Member profile to view items by policy area, such as Health or Immigration. Click here to learn more.

 

Glossary of Legislative Terms

Can’t recall the exact meaning of a term? See the Glossary of legislative process terms in the top navigation of Congress.gov.

 

How to Remove Highlighting from a Search Result

When viewing search results on Congress.gov, highlighted search terms can be very helpful in understanding why a particular item was retrieved.  But what if you need a clean copy without the  highlighting?  Simply edit the URL to remove the search portion and the highlighting will be gone. Look for ?q and delete it along with all characters that follow.

 

How to Search Across Collections and Congresses

Use the “All Sources” option from the drop-down menu to search across all collections and congresses.  Example: “Kyoto Protocol”

The facets on the left of the page display the number of items returned in each collection.

 

New Release Notes 

View the Congress.gov enhancements page for a description of new features added in the latest release.

 

Quick Search

Congress.gov quick search pages offer frequently used search field options tailored to each collection.

 

Quick Search Defaults to AND

Congress.gov Quick Search now defaults to the AND search operator, rather than OR, in response to researcher feedback. Click here for more information and search examples.

 

RSS Feeds

Congress.gov RSS feeds help you keep up with congressional activity.  Subscribe to one or more feeds such as Bills Presented to the President, On the House Floor Today, On the Senate Floor Today, Search Tips and more.

 

Search Results Display Options

You can view legislative search results in a compact or expanded display, with facets and tracker hidden or shown.

 

Sessions of Congress and Corresponding Years

The 115th Congress will be in session through 2018. This Congresses page shows the years associated with each Congress.

 

THOMAS Retirement

THOMAS.gov retired on July 5, 2016.  Find details in Congress.gov FAQs, including information about redirects for THOMAS URLs.

 

Two-Minute Tip Videos

Get a quick orientation about...

 

U.S. Code

Find a link to U.S. Code at the top of the homepage and in the footer of all Congress.gov pages.

 

Wildcard Search Operator

In Congress.gov, the asterisk (*) functions as a wildcard search operator, allowing you to find items that have data in a particular field. Finding bills that have been placed on the House or Senate calendar (i.e., eligible for floor consideration) is a useful application of this feature. Click here to learn more.

 
Legislation 
 
Access to Debates from "Bill History – Congressional Record References"

From the Actions tab for the Consolidated Appropriations bill (H.R.2029), click on Bill History – Congressional Record References to discover an interactive, chronological list of links to debate, motions, and actions in the Congressional Record. Bills and resolutions from 1995-present (beginning with the 104th Congress) in Congress.gov all have  "Bill History – Congressional Record References" pages.

 
 

Alerts on Legislation

Get an email alert on a bill. Start a Congress.gov account to get alerts on individual bills when there are updates to actions, bill text, cosponsors, or summaries.

 

Alerts on New Legislation

Want to get email alerts when new legislation is introduced? Click here to learn how.

 

All Actions Link

The 'All Actions' link from a results list expedites access to the Actions tab. See it in this list of bills that became law in the current Congress.

 

Appropriations Status Table

The FY17 Appropriations Status Table is featured on the homepage.

 

Bill Status Data Bulk Download

Want to import Congress.gov bill status data into a spreadsheet or database? Bulk download for bill status data is available at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/bulkdata/BILLSTATUS

Find more information at About Congress.gov XML Bulk Data.

 

Citation Format for Searching All Legislation

When searching All Legislation, a citation format that works well for finding a specific bill or law is this sequence: congress number and citation in a single string.

Examples:

S.25 [113] = 113s25

Public Law 109-25 = 109pl25

 

Cosponsor Information

The Cosponsors tab of a bill or resolution display allows you to view cosponsors in the order they were added (first to last, or last to first) as well as by name, party, and state.

 

Explore a Bill Video

Two-Minute tip video - learn how to explore a bill.

 

Legislation Search Options

Find bills or public laws by number from any Congress.gov search box or the Legislation page.  See Search by Number (Citation) for a list of prefixes.

 

Legislative Subject Terms

Legislative Subject Terms are assigned to each bill by CRS legislative analysts. You can browse bills in each Congress by Legislative Subject Term or include subjects in searches.  Find Bills by Subject and Policy Area provides guidance for using Legislative Subject Terms in your research.

Examples:

Cuba in the 114th Congress

National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the 113th Congress

Arab-Israeli relations in the 112th Congress

 

Private Bills

To find private bills, use this search isPrivateBill:"Y". Select Became Law from the Status of Legislation facet to see private bills that were passed into law.  Another option is to use the Bills Introduced as Private Legislation browse, found under Bills by Legislative Actions on the Browse page.

Links to private bill and private law lists are also available from the glossary.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Congress.gov features a profile page for every Member of Congress who has held office since 1973. Each page provides an interactive list of legislation that the Member sponsored or cosponsored in the House and/or the Senate, all in one place on the site. Click here for information on how to view and refine a Member's list of legislation.

 

Votes Resources

Votes in the House and Senate describes recorded vote information accessible from Congress.gov, and suggests supplementary resources.

 

Yesterday in Congress

Visit Yesterday in Congress for an overview of legislative actions taken by the full House or Senate each legislative day. Browse bills and resolutions introduced, reported, and passed by date going back to the 93rd Congress. From the homepage, click Yesterday in Congress, found under the Current Legislative Activities heading.

 

Members 

 

Member Information Sort Options

Members can be sorted by name, state or territory, or party

 

Alerts on Members

Get an email alert on a member. Start a Congress.gov account to get alerts on individual members when they sponsor or cosponsor a bill.

 

Policy Area Facets

View the policy areas associated with the legislation that a member sponsors or cosponsors by looking at the subject - policy area facets from each member’s landing page

 

Member Remarks

Member remarks in the Congressional Record are easily tracked via the member's landing page. Click on “View this member’s remarks in the Congressional Record” link to the right of a member profile. Use the facets on the left to narrow results by date or Congressional Record section.  

 

How to Search Within a Member's Remarks in the Congressional Record 

  • From a member landing page, click on "See This Member's Remarks in the Congressional Record" link to the right of the overview.
  • The resulting list contains all of a member's remarks in the Congressional Record (1995- ). Click on the "search within" check box, enter a keyword or phrase, and hit search. 

Example: The phrase "no child left behind" within Senator Lamar Alexander's remarks in the 114th Congress

 

Sponsors and Cosponsors Browse Lists

Find who has sponsored or cosponsored the most legislation using the Sponsors and Cosponsors browse lists for House and Senate.

 

Congressional Record 

 

Congressional Record Sort Options

Congressional Record can be sorted by issue date or article title.

 

Alerts on the Congressional Record

Get an email alert for the Congressional Record. Start a Congress.gov account to receive an email alert when the latest issue of the Congressional Record is published online.

 

How to Search the Congressional Record

The Congressional Record collection contains the complete Record in full text since 1995. To search via keyword or phrase, be as specific as possible and use quotation marks for phrases.

Example: “Air and Space Museum”

 

Congressional Record Index

The Congressional Record Index (1995 – present) is now available on Congress.gov. You can browse or search the Index to find remarks and activities by Members as well as individuals and organizations mentioned in the Congressional Record.

For example, see these entries for American Heart Association; Deaton, Angus S.; and Wawa, Inc.

 

History of Bills and Resolutions

On Congress.gov, find the History of Bills and Resolutions under the Actions tab of any bill or resolution introduced between 1995-present (beginning with the 104th Congress). Click here for detailed instructions.

 

Committees 

 
Committee Profiles

Committee profiles facilitate access to business conducted and documents produced by House and Senate committees. Each profile features an interactive list of legislation and reports, and general information by and about a committee. Find House and Senate committee profiles listed at Committees of the U.S. Congress.

 

Committee Reports - How to Search

Committee Reports are available in Congress.gov from 1995 (104th Congress) to the present. Committee Reports reveal the legislative intent of the committee in recommending a measure. To begin a search of these reports, choose the Committee Reports option in the homepage search drop-down menu and enter a committee report number, the associated legislation number, or keyword/phrase.

 
Committee Reports - Search Citation Format

A citation format that works well for finding a specific committee report is this sequence: congress number and citation in a single string. Choose Committee Reports from the Congress.gov homepage search drop-down menu.

Example: House Rept.114-89 = 114hrpt89

 

Committee Reports - Six Search Options

1. Use the Committee Reports option from the drop-down menu in the Congress.gov homepage search box. Enter the report citation, associated legislation number, or a keyword/phrase. Use the facets on the left to narrow your search results. Search example: Committee Report for H.R. 22 [114th].

2. From the Search by Number page, choose the Committee Reports option from the drop-down menu and select a Congress.

3. Use the Committee Reports search box.

4. View all committee reports by Congress from the Committees section of the browse page.

5. From the Advanced Search - Query Builder page, search in Committee Reports.

6. View committee reports from links on the Overview, Actions, and Committee tabs of the associated bills. Example: H.R. 22 [114th].

 
Legislation with Committee Action Finding Aid

Use the Legislation with Actions Related to Committees browse pages to track legislation referred to a specific committee or subcommittee: House | Senate

Examples:

 
Nominations 
 
Alerts on Nominations

Set up a nomination alert to receive an email when action occurs.

 

How to Search for Nominations by Date

Looking for nominations sent to the Senate by the new administration? Use Congress.gov to search nominations by the date they were received in the Senate.

From the home page, click the Advanced search tab and then select Query Builder.

Example: Under Search in, select Nominations, Received in Senate Date, is after 1/19/2017. Click the red minus symbol to remove the unused search boxes connected to your terms by AND. Then click Search.

 

Print-Friendly View for Nominations

For a print-friendly view, use the All Information link now available for nominations and treaties as well as legislation.

 

Sort Options for Nominations

Nominations can be sorted by latest action, date received, or number.

 
Supreme Court Nominations

Quickly retrieve Supreme Court nominations records from Congress.gov. From the homepage, select Browse in the top navigation. Then, scroll down and select Nominations. Select Supreme Court Nominations to see all such records from 1981 to the present. Click here for detailed instructions.

 
Treaty Documents 
 

How to Search for Treaty Documents

Treaty Documents can be found by number or searched via keyword or phrase. Use the Status of Treaty Document and Topic facets to refine your results. Example: Fisheries and Wildlife treaties approved by the Senate since 2011.

 

Sort Options for Treaty Documents

Treaty Documents can be sorted by latest action, date received, or number.

 
Communications   

How to Search for Executive Communications

Search Executive Communications by keyword.

Results sets can be limited by these facets:

  • Congress
  • Communication Type (Petitions or Memorials, Presidential Messages, Executive Communications)
  • Senate Committee
 

 

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