Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Federal Legislative History Guide: Home

Legislative history refers to the documents that are produced by Congress as a bill is introduced, studied and debated. These documents are reviewed to determine intent or clarify vague language. Legislative documents are only persuasive legal authority.

Federal legislative histories are documents to a specific U.S. public law that generally precede the law’s enactment. These documents include committee reports, debates, various versions of bills, amendments, special studies and hearings.

Legislative Process

What about Treaty Ratification?

Where to begin.... Get that Public Law # !

What about Hearings?

Versions of the Bill? Compare version of bill... for possible intent

What about Congressional Debates?

2 versions --Daily Record has page #'s that begin with S (Senate), H (House), E (Extension of Remarks) and D (Daily Digest); Bound edition is published about every 4 years... and page #'s do NOT correspond to Daily Record