To Access House and Senate Reports

Additional Information and Research Strategies


House and Senate reports are the designated class of publications by which congressional committees report and make recommendations to the House or Senate as a whole. These reports concern the findings of committee hearings or the outcome of committee deliberations. They can contain discussions of legislative intent, a short history of a bill, and comparisons of current and proposed law text. Reports are assigned separate sequential numbers within each Chamber (e.g., H. Rpt. 99-1, S. Rpt. 99-1). Since 1969 (91st Congress) the assigned number has included the Congress number as an intrinsic part of the report number. The House began its numbered report series in 1819, and the Senate began its numbered report series in 1847. House and Senate reports are included in the Serial Set.

Most reports make recommendations for passage of a specific piece of legislation that the committee has considered in hearings and in private session. The legislation reported may be in the same form as introduced and considered in the hearing, it may have been amended, or it may have been extensively rewritten by the committee and reported as an amendment in the nature of a substitute or as a "clean" bill with a new number.

If a bill is simple and non-controversial, the report may be very brief, containing only the committee recommendation for passage. Often, however, the report includes a lengthy and detailed analysis of each section of the legislation. Sometimes reports contain a summary of issues brought out in the hearings or a history of the problem the legislation is intended to address. Frequently, reports contain additional, minority, or supplemental views of individual committee members.

A separate type of legislative report results when the House and Senate pass versions of a bill that have substantial or controversial differences, and a decision is made to go to conference. In that case, differences between the House and Senate versions are reconciled by a conference committee made up of delegates or "managers" representing both political parties. When the conferees reach agreement, they issue their recommendations in a conference report that explains provision-by-provision how the differences were resolved or, in some cases, which provisions remain in disagreement.

Committees also may issue reports that are not on specific legislation. These reports may summarize the findings of investigatory or oversight hearings, field trips, or study panel investigations. Many committees also issue annual or biennial activity reports summarizing their legislative and oversight activities.

Reports are published on a timely basis.

To Access House and Senate Reports

Use these search forms:

Use these search criteria:

  • Keyword

  • Title

  • Subject

  • Geographical index term

  • Committee name

  • Bill number

  • House and Senate serial number

  • LexisNexis accession number

  • SuDoc number

Highlights of what's covered as part of the basic subscription:

  • Abstracts and indexing for all reports published from 1999 (106th Congress) forward

  • Abstracts and indexing for most reports from 1970-1998 (excludes private, ceremonial, housekeeping, and land transaction reports)

  • Full text of most reports from 1990-present

Additional Information and Research Strategies

LexisNexis® Congressional provides access to House and Senate reports through the Basic, Advanced, and Search by Number forms. All House and Senate report records can be searched by keyword, title, subject or geographical index term, committee name, bill number, House and Senate serial number, LexisNexis accession number, and SuDoc number.

The LexisNexis Congressional basic subscription contains abstracts and indexing for all reports published from 1999 (106th Congress) forward and most reports from 1970-1998. Reports excluded in the 1970-1998 time period include private, ceremonial, housekeeping, and land transaction reports.

LexisNexis Congressional creates early metadata records for all reports (from 2006 going forward) on as timely a basis as possible following the publication of the report. The early records contain abbreviated subject indexing and bibliographic information available at the time of the release. Early records are replaced by full records with complete bibliographic information and full abstracts and indexing on a monthly basis.

The LexisNexis Congressional basic subscription also includes transcripts of most reports from 1990-present. Coverage for 1990 is very limited. To access this material, the user should search using the Basic Search, Advanced Search, or Search by Number form. The Basic Search and the Advanced Search default will return permanent or early records linked to the full text reports. The Advanced Search drop-down option "All Fields Including Full Text" takes the user directly to the full text reports. The advantage of accessing the metadata records first is that the record provides bibliographic and content information that will help the user make sense of the full text.

LexisNexis Congressional also makes available annotated indexing for reports issued from 1819-1969 through the optional congressional indexes historical module.

LexisNexis Congressional also makes available, through the U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection optional module, annotated indexing and searchable PDFs for reports issued from 1819-1969.