U.S. Government Information - Legislation - Guide to publications and records that document the process: Committee Work

This guide, following the U.S. Congressional legislative process as described in the info-graph, "How Our Laws are Made", help to identify sources for the publications and records that document the legislative history of a bill as it becomes law.

Current Legislative Activities

Committee Documents and Reports

Reports and Documents are issued seperately and later complied in the United States Congressional Serial Set.

Congressional reports originate from congressional committees and deal with proposed legislation or issues under investigation. Congress issues different types of reports, including committee reports, conference reports and executive reports.

Congressional committee reports may be issued by the House or Senate. Depending on the chamber of origin, report citations begin with the Congress number during which it was issued and either H. Rpt. or S. Rpt., and an accession number (e.g., 112 H. Rpt. 1). Congressional reports are compiled in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set.

The Congressional Documents collection consists of House Documents (H. Doc.), Senate Documents (S.Doc.), and Senate Treaty Documents. House and Senate documents contain various kinds of materials ordered to be printed by both chambers of Congress. Documents can include reports of executive departments and agencies, as well as committee prints, that were ordered to be printed as documents. Senate Treaty Documents contain the text of a treaty as it is submitted to the U. S. Senate for ratification by the President of the United States.

Committee Hearings

A hearing is a formal meeting or session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress (or subcommittee) to gather information from witnesses for use in its activitiesusually open to the public.  Hearings are used to obtain information and opinions on proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate/oversee the activities of a government department or the implementation of a Federal law, or Senate consideration of presidential nominations. In addition, hearings may also be purely exploratory in nature, providing testimony and data about topics of current interest. 

Government Information Services Coordinator

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Carmen Orth-Alfie
University of Kansas Libraries
Watson Library
(785) 864-8929