Get a Document: Legislative Histories, Bills & Laws
Related Topics:
Keyword Search
User Scenarios
Results Page   

Use the Get a Document form to retrieve legislative histories, bill tracking reports, bills, voting records, public laws, statutes at large, and the U.S. Code when you know the specific citation number of the resource.

Select a document type to search on from the "Select a document type" drop-down list—the associated search parameters will appear in the lower half of the search form.

Click a link below for additional search information on each resource:

Legislative Histories

Bill Tracking   

Bills (Full Text)

Floor Votes

Public Laws

Statutes at Large

U.S. Code

For an example of how to use this form, refer to this user scenario.

Searching Legislative Histories

Use the Legislative Histories option to retrieve a legislative history by a specific law, statute, or bill number. The CIS Legislative Histories are produced every year in the spring. Each update covers all laws passed during the previous year.

Legislative histories cite congressional publications and Congressional Record debate associated with each public law. Referenced publications may include congressional reports, hearings, documents, and/or prints. A legislative history compilation enables researchers to trace the development of a law from its earliest consideration to its signing by the President. Legislative histories from 1984 forward contain numerous hypertext links to abstracts for congressional publications, and legislative histories from 1995 forward contain hypertext links to the Congressional Record.

Legislative histories may be retrieved using Public Law numbers, Statues at Large numbers, or Enacted bill numbers as follows:

Public Law Number

Public laws are assigned sequential numbers within a Congress (for example, P.L.104-1). If you know the public law number, you can retrieve a legislative history for that law. Use the drop-down list to select a specific Congress, then enter the bill number in the form.

Statute at Large Number

Statutes at Large is the official compilation of legislation passed and signed into law during each session of Congress. A new volume, arranged sequentially in order of passage, is issued for each Congress. To retrieve documents using a Statutes at Large citation, you must know the volume and page number.

Enacted Bill Number

Bill numbers are assigned sequential numbers within a Congress (for example, the first bill introduced in the Senate during the 104th Congress would be S. 1). If you know the enacted bill number associated with a law, you can retrieve a legislative history for that law. Use the second drop-down list to select the bill type.

Searching Bill Tracking   

Use the Bill Tracking option to track the status of a bill in the legislative process where you know the number of the bill. This option searches bill tracking information back to 1989 (the 101st Congress). It is updated daily.

Use the drop-down lists to select the Congress and the bill type, then enter the bill number in the form.

Searching Bills (Full Text)

Use the Bills (Full Text) option to locate the text of a bill by number. This option searches for the full text of bills back to 1989 and is updated as data is released by the Government Printing Office (GPO).

Use the drop-down lists to select the Congress and the bill type, then enter the bill number in the form.

Searching Floor Votes

Use the Floor Votes option to find how members have voted on bills from 1989 to the present. Floor votes are votes taken on the floor of the House or Senate by the full Chamber, and do not include votes taken within committees.

Use the drop-down lists to select the Congress and the bill type, then enter the bill number in the form.

Searching Public Laws

Use the Public Laws option to locate a public law by a specific law, statute, or bill number. This option searches all public laws from 1988 to the present. Public laws are added to the database within two weeks after they are passed.

Public laws may be retrieved using Public Law numbers, Statues at Large numbers, or Enacted bill numbers as follows:

Public Law Number

Public laws are assigned sequential numbers within a Congress (for example, P.L.104-1). If you know the public law number, you can retrieve a legislative history for that law. Use the drop-down list to select a specific Congress, then enter the bill number in the form.

Statutes at Large Number

Statutes at Large is the official compilation of legislation passed and signed into law during each session of Congress. A new volume, arranged sequentially in order of passage, is issued for each Congress. To retrieve documents using a Statutes at Large citation, you must know the volume and page number.

Enacted Bill Number

Bills are assigned sequential numbers within a Congress (for example, the first bill introduced in the Senate during the 104th Congress would be S. 1). If you know the enacted bill or resolution number associated with a public law, you can find the full text of the law. Use the Enacted Bill Number drop-down list to help you enter the bill number correctly.

Searching U.S. Code

The U.S. Code is the compilation and codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the U.S.  Use the U.S. Code option to search the United States Code by citation. The U.S. Code is updated monthly with the laws passed during the previous month.

A U.S. Code citation is comprised of two numbers: the title number (which is between 1 and 50), and the section number. The text USC is in the middle of the numbers.

Tip: It is helpful to use an exclamation point (!) after the section number, such as 2 USC 661!. By using the exclamation point, LexisNexis® Congressional will retrieve the section and all subsections.

Searching Statutes at Large

Use the Statute at Large option to locate a Statutes At Large document by citation, public law number, chapter number or public resolution number. This form searches the Statutes at Large from 1789 to the present. The full text of the law is in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). The Statutes at Large is updated annually.

Statutes at Large may be searched using Statutes at Large numbers, Public Law numbers, Chapter numbers, or Public Resolution numbers as follows:

Statutes at Large Number

Statutes at Large is the official compilation of legislation passed and signed into law during each session of Congress. A new volume, arranged sequentially in order of passage, is issued for each Congress. To retrieve documents using a Statutes at Large citation, you must know the volume and page number.

Public Law Number

Public laws are assigned sequential numbers within a Congress (for example, P.L.105-1) from Volume 32 (1901) to the present day.

Chapter

Public laws were assigned chapter numbers (often abbreviated as "chap." or "ch.") from Volumes 1 to 70 of the Statutes at Large (1789 to 1956). You can choose to search on a specific Congress or a specific date. In either case, you must supply a chapter number.

Public Resolution Number

Public laws were assigned public resolution numbers from Volumes 32 to 70 of the Statutes at Large (1901 to 1956). You can choose to search on a specific Congress or a specific date. In either case, you must supply a resolution number.

 


How to Cite:

Bills

Bill Tracking Report

Member Voting Records

U.S. Code

General Principles of Citation