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U.S. Legislation and Regulations: Bills/Resolutions

A guide to public policy resources.

About Bill/Resolutions

Bills/Resolutions 
Bills/Resolutions are introduced by a members of Congress in the House of Representatives or the Senate. Bills and resolutions are frequently modified and amended as they proceed through the stages of the legislative process. Upon introduction, they are numbered sequentially for each legislative session. e.g. H.R. 5293, S. 204. Bills are often introduced simultaneously in both chambers with different bill numbers, but may be merged later in the process if the language is agreed upon by a Conference Committee. Bills/resolutions must be passed in both chambers to be voted in final form, then sent to the President for signing before becoming law.

Read more on bills and resolutions from ProQuest Congressional Help
Select 'help?' in the upper left, then expand the table of contents to "all about bills, resolutions, laws..."

View versions and definitions in FDsys Help "About Congressional Bills"

Finding Bill Text

There are usually a number of versions of a bill available. The introduced version, and other versions as reported out of House/Senate committees, and versions approved or finalized in both chambers. It is important to know which version is needed.

  • Bill Text via Congress.gov
    Best source for bills introduced in current Congress. Bill summary and status available from 1973/74 (93rd Congress).
  • ProQuest Congressional. (Full text from 1987, 100th Congress) 
    This database contains text for bills that have had committee action. Search Basic Search or Advanced Search to locate the bill text. Select Bills & Laws 1987-present in Advanced Search.

    Congressional Bills - Govinfo (full text from 103rd, 1993/1994 - present). 

  • House & Senate Bills - 1981-2000 microfiche collection Hoskins Storage

  • Covers the 97th through the 106th Congresses. Use the bill index guide to find the fiche numbers.
    Bills and Resolutions 1789-1898 (1st-55th Cong.)- KF16 Microfilm Hoskins Storage

  • House & Senate Bills & Resolutions - Library of Congress 
    Selective coverage from 1799 through 1873 (6th to 42nd Congresses), with the exception of the 12th Congress.
  • House of Representatives Transparency Portal. House Clerk's office. 
    Lists proposed legislation scheduled for consideration during each week Congress is in session. Provides links to the text.
     
  • Other Sources - Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C.

 

Finding the status of a current bill

Bill summary and status includes: bill number, official title, current status, sponsors/cosponsors, and summary of actions.

Congress.gov

GovTrack.us  93rd Cong. (1973-74) - current. Follow legislation in the U.S. Congress to get current action and votes on bills.

Govinfo - updated daily. 1983-present
An index to legislative actions on bills as reported in the Congressional Record. References to CR pages are not linked.