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U.S. Legislation and Regulations: Hearings/Reports/Documents

A guide to public policy resources.

Committee Reports

Committee Reports usually will provide:
An analysis or summary of the legislation
An explanation of the scope and purpose of the bill
Recommendations for passage
Estimates on how much the policy will cost 
A review of existing legislation. 

ProQuest Congressional - To find a specific report, use the basic keyword search; OR Advanced Search - select 'House & Senate Reports'; OR Search by number if known. Reports are included with other publications when searching 'legislative histories'.
Select Committee reports - From 1995, 104th Cong.- present. Provides full-text of reports and a link to the "official" GPO .PDF version.

From the 104th Congress (1995-96) to current

Committee Prints

Committee Prints - special studies prepared for committees that contain background history or comparisons of pending bills. Committee prints are useful to examine for situation reports, historical information, and legislative analyses.

ProQuest Congressional - To find a document, limit by selecting 'Committee Prints & Misc. Pubs'.

The CIS U.S. Congressional Committee Prints Collection 
JK261.U5 earliest-1983 available on microfiche in Hoskins Storage. 

Govinfo - 102nd Congress (1991-92) through current

Committee Documents

Documents - communications to the Congress. May include Presidential messages and vetoes, special studies and background information compilations.

ProQuest Congressional - To find a specific committee document, LIMIT to Hose & Senate Documents 1817-present, OR use the Search by number feature. Documents are also retrieved with other publications in 'legislative histories'

Govinfo - 104th Congress (1995-96) through current Congress

Committee Hearings

Committee Hearings - contain the official transcripts of proceedings with oral and written statements from those testifying before committees of Congress in public sessions. Supplementary materials such as reports, statistical analyses, correspondence and articles presented by witnesses are often included. Hearings provide the information on the pros and cons of pending bills as well as the main players on the issue. Main types of hearings are:
Legislative - "Teenage pregnancy : the economic and social costs"
Oversight - "Asleep at the switch : FERC’s oversight of the Enron Corporation"
Investigative - "Hurricane Katrina : why did the levees fail?"
Confirmation (Nomination) - "Nomination of Judge Clarence Thomas to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court"
Reauthorization - "USA Patriot Act : a review for the purpose of reauthorization "
Appropriations - Use Appropriations chart in the Thomas database to find the status of appropriations legislation. Continuing resolutions are used when Congress has not approved appropriations before the October 1st deadline for the fiscal year. The continuing resolution is used as a temporary measure to fund government services in the interim.
Since Congressional Committees are not required by statute to publish hearings, there may be a time lag before the official publication of some committee hearings. Hearings published since 1976 are included in the library's catalog with access to online and microfiche (Hoskins Storage) formats.

ProQuest Congressional 1824-present
To find a specific hearing, use the basic keyword search under 'congressional publications'; OR use 'Advanced Search' and select 'hearings'; OR Search by sudocs number if known. Hearings are retrieved with other publications using 'legislative histories, bills & laws'.
Searching for Transcripts/Submitted Statements, 1988-
For transcripts before 2005: Use the 'Advanced Search'/ Change default to 'all fields including full text'/
To find transcripts for a hearing held on a particular day: Use the 'Advanced Search'/enter word or term/limit to 'hearings'/select 'date is' and enter specific date
It may be helpful to search for transcripts of a hearing within a day or two of the date held for better results.  Use the 'Advanced Search'/ Change default to 'all fields including full text'/

Govinfo - 99th Congress (1985) through current Congress

Digitized Congressional Hearings are available in full view

Congressional Chronicle   (audio and video)
Daily congressional hearing live online.

Historical Hearings/Reports/Documents/Comm.Prints

ProQuest Congressional - Advanced Search
Hearings -
Reports & Documents - 1817-present
Committee Prints - 1817-present

CIS Microfiche Collection - Hoskins Storage
Hearings -1833-1969;1970-1983
Reports & Documents - 1817-1969 in Serial Set microfiche J11.S3
Committee Prints - 1817-1983

GPO Microfiche Collection - 1984-2010 (hearings, reports, documents, comm. prints) Sudoc number varies Y4....