Who:     

Jonathan, a sophomore at State University

Class

Journalism: Public Policy Reporting

Assignment:

Locate a copy of the text of bill number H.R. 1316, as reported in the House of Representatives in the 109th Congress, and use it as the basis for writing a brief article

Objective

Locate H.R. 1316

Starting Info:

All Jonathan knows is the number of the bill 

  1. Selects the Search By Number form from the LexisNexis Congressional options for Congressional Publications searches.

  2. Noticing that the default option is Find a Congressional Publication by Number, looks through the Publication Number drop-down options to see if any of the choices look like the number of the bill he is supposed to find.  None of the options begin with H.R.

  3. Decides to select a different task, and uses the Select Task drop-down to select Find Congressional Publications Related to a Bill or Law.

  4. Notices that the Bill Number button is already selected as the default. Selects 109 from the Congress number drop-down.  The Bill/Resolution option is already set at H.R., indicating that the search will be for a House bill.

  5. Types 1316 into the Bill Number search box, and clicks the Search button.

  6. Retrieves a result set that doesn't mention Bill Text as a document types, and wonders if he has searched in the right place.

  7. Opens a report in his results set and, although he sees no reference to a bill text at all, he scrolls down the page to the Bills segment and sees the bill number H.R. 1316.

  8. Clicks on H.R. 1316 and retrieves a results set referencing two versions of bill texts for H.R 1316, the introduced version and the reported version.

  9. Clicks on the reported version and retrieves the bill text he was looking for, but wonders if there isnít an easier way to find a bill text other than looking under Congressional publications.

  10. Returns to Home, examines the left-hand navigation bar, chooses Legislative Histories, Bills & Laws, and selects the Get a Document option.

  11. Selects Bills (Full Text) from the Select a Document Type drop-down, selects 109 from the Congress drop-down, types H.R. 1318 in the Bill Number search box, and clicks the Search button.

  12. Retrieves the reported version of the bill, and makes a mental note to remember that the next time he needs to find the full-text of the bill, he will go straight to the Legislative Histories, Bills & Laws search form.

Search Tip: The easiest way to find a bill text is to search from the Legislative Histories, Bills & Laws form.  An alternative way is to search for the bill number on the Basic, Advanced, or Search by Number form, open an abstract and indexing  record from the results set, and then click through on the Bill Number link to access the bill text.