Researching Legislation, Laws, and Regulations
Links to Specific Legal Instruments
U.S. Federal: Public Laws passed by the 104th-113th Congresses.
= You must be on campus, or an authorized UO user if off campus, to access)
How a Bill Becomes Law (cartoon)
A humorous, but perhaps fairly accurate, depiction.
Legislative Branch Resources on FDSys
FDSys provides access to the full text of Congressional bills and resolutions from the 103rd - 113th Congresses; the Congressional Record, Congressional reports, and History of Bills from those Congresses; the Federal Register for 1994 - present, the United States Code, and General Accounting Office reports, along with other documents.
Offers access to a variety of information by and about the United States Congress. With ProQuest Congressional, you can:
- Search an index of congressional publications from 1789 to the present
- Retrieve CIS Legislative Histories for public laws going back to 1970
- Find testimony from congressional hearings
- Track bills as they move through the House and Senate
- Search the Congressional Record, Federal Register, and Code of Federal Regulations
- Locate information about members and committees
- Search political news in Roll Call, The Hill, and the Washington Post
Congress.gov A server for legislative information from the Library of Congress. Includes summaries of Public Laws from the 93rd Congress (1973-74) forward.
Documenting the Legislative Process Online
- Texts of Congressional Bills (103rd Congress - present)
- Congressional Committee Hearings (99th Congress - present) (selected hearings only; not comprehensive)
- Congressional Committee Prints (102nd Congress - present) (selected prints only; not comprehensive)
- House and Senate Reports, including Conference reports (104th Congress - present)
- Floor debates and votes: The Congressional Record (1994 - present)
- Presidential signing statements: The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (1993 - present); Public Papers of the Presidents (1991-2010). Statements for the current administration can be found on the White House web site.
- Texts of Laws as passed: Public Laws (104th Congress - present)
- See the Law Librarians' Society's Legislative Source Book for links to sources of hearings on committee web sites and other Internet sources.
- ProQuest Legislative Insight provides legislative histories covering laws from 1929 to the present. "PDF documents included with the public laws include bills (all versions), legislative reports, documents, CRS reports, committee prints, speeches in the Congressional Record and presidential signing statements."
Congressional Documents in the UO Libraries
House and Senate Documents
Senate Treaty Documents, Senate Executive Documents
These series of documents comprise the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, which is located in a section of locked shelving in the Document Center. Consult a reference librarian for access to these materials. The most recent documents that have not yet been bound into the Serial Set volumes ("slip reports") are shelved in an area adjacent to the Serial Set.
Reports from 1996 - present are in the library catalog. For documents prior to 1970, there is a print index to the Serial Set in the Document Center Reference Collection. Also available as pdfs on ProQuest Congressional.
The library has an extensive collection of hearings conducted by the various committees of Congress. The paper hearings are in the DOC-US collection in the Document Center under document numbers beginning with Y4. There is a microfiche collection of hearings published from 1839-1934 that is located in the Microforms Collection.
Hearings from 1996 - present are in the library catalog. Cataloging of hearings prior to 1996 is sporadic: some are in the catalog, some are not. For hearings prior to 1970, there is a print index in the Document Center Reference Collection. Also available as pdfs on ProQuest Congressional.
Congressional Committee Prints
Committee prints are located in the Y4 section of the DOC-US collection along with the hearings. There is a microfiche collection of committee prints covering years through 1969 in the Microforms Collection.
As with the hearings, committee prints from 1996 - present are in the library catalog. Cataloging prior to 1996 is sporadic: some are in the catalog, some are not. There is a print index in the Document Center Reference Collection for prints in the microfiche collection (1969 and before. Also available as pdfs on ProQuest Congressional.
Other sites for Congressional Information
- Official U.S. House of Representatives site.
- Official U.S. Senate site.
- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-present
- A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1873 (Library of Congress, American Memory Project)
- CQ Researcher. In-depth exploration of public policy issues from CQ Press. Searchable archive dates back to 1991.
- CQ Weekly (Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report) Includes the current issue and a searchable archive of back issues. Independent, in-depth coverage of the Congress and its legislative actions. A good source for keeping track of the status of pending legislation, the results of roll call votes, etc.
- Legislative Source Book. Law Librarians' Society of Washington, D.C. Contains good background information on how to research Congressional legislation.
- Statements of Administration Policy on Non-Appropriations and Appropriations Bills. 1997 - present; hosted by the American Presidency Project at the University of California Santa Barbara
- Government Accountability Office (formerly General Accounting Office). GAO is the investigative arm of the Congress and is charged with examining all matters relating to the receipt and disbursement of public funds.
- Government Printing Office. The GPO produces, procures, and disseminates printed and electronic publications of the Congress as well as the executive departments and establishments of the Federal Government.
- Library of Congress. The Library of Congress is the national library of the United States, offering diverse materials for research including the world's most extensive collections in many areas such as American history, music, and law.
- Congressional Research Service. CRS provides objective, nonpartisan research, analysis, and informational support to assist Congress in its legislative, oversight, and representative functions. CRS Reports can be valuable sources of information on public policy issues.
- Copyright Office. Provides registration of copyright, and information about U.S. copyright law.
- Congressional Budget Office. The CBO provides Congress with assessments of the economic impact of the Federal budget.
- State Legislatures, State Laws and State Regulations (Law Librarians' Society of Washington D.C.) Links to state legislatures' web sites, state legal codes, and state administrative codes for all fifty states.
- Oregon State Legislature
- Oregon State Legislature: Bills and Laws
- Washington State Legislature
- California Search text of bills for current & prior sessions of the legislature.
- Idaho Legislature
- U.S. Members of Congress
- First District: Suzanne Bonamici (D)
- Second District: Greg Walden (R)
- Third District: Earl Blumenauer (D)
- Fourth District: Peter A. DeFazio (D)
- Fifth District: Kurt Schrader (D)
= You must be on campus, or an authorized UO user if off campus, to access)
- U.S. Supreme Court official website.
- LexisNexis Academic. This service contains case law from all federal court levels and state high courts and appelate courts.
- Supreme Court decisions, 1990 - present. Site maintained by the Cornell University Law School. Also provides links to other sources of Supreme Court decisions.
- Web Sites of National Parliaments (Inter-Parliamentary Union)
Links to web sites of national legislative bodies of countries throughout the world.
- PARLINE database from IPU
Contains information on the structure and working methods of 266 parliamentary chambers in all of the 190 countries where a national legislature exists.
- Canada's Parliament
- European Parliament
- United Kingdom Parliament