The Federal Legislative Process How a bill becomes a law and the publications that are produced in the process
Action Publication Locating publicationBill is introduced into Bill Proquest Congressional 1989-presentthe House or Senateand assigned to a 101st (1989) – present (Present Congress is 112th)committee http://Thomas.Loc.gov 1973-1989 Available on microfiche from many depository libraries. WSL has a number of years of bills on microfiche 1938-1973 may be available through some depositories. Otherwise, only available through the Library of Congress. Amendments are often printed in the Congressional Record when the amendment is under discussion. Pre 1938 Only available through the Library of Congress. Amendments are often printed in the Congressional Record when the amendment is under discussion.
Action Publication Locating publicationCommittee may hold Hearings Proquest Congressional includes hearingshearing(s) on bill 1989 (101st) – present (Present Congress is 112th) Reference by Committee in Thomas 1973-74 (93rd Congress) - 1989 (101st) Cited in Legislative History of Bill. Available in print/microform through many Federal Depository Libraries Pre 1973-74 (93rd Congress) Index of Congressional Committee Hearings (Multi- volume set) Pre-1935 through 1980 (Y 1.3: H35/2)
Action Publication Locating publicationCommittee may publish report House and Senate Proquest Congressional includes Houseon bill giving background and Reports and Senate Reportsrecommendations when thebill is sent on to the full House 1973-74 (93rd Congress) – presentor Senate. (Present Congress is 112th) House and Senate Report numbers given in Thomas’ bill information; found in Serial Set Full text available through Thomas for 1989-present Pre 1973-74 (93rd Congress) Serial Set. The Congressional Record Index includes a section ("History of Bills and Resolutions“) listing House and Senate Bill Numbers and their status. It includes the House and Senate Report numbers.
Action Publication Locating publicationThe chamber debates, Congressional Proquest Congressional includes bothamends and passes the bill. Record (Daily and editions of Congressional Record Bound Editions) 1973-74 (93rd Congress) – present (Present Congress is 112th) Page numbers given in Thomas’ bill information; Full text available through Thomas for 1989- present; Congressional Record, bound edition available at WSL Pre 1973-74 (93rd Congress) Congressional Record, bound edition available at WSL. The index includes the pages in Congressional Record on which any debate about the bill is printed
Action Publication Locating publicationAfter the bill is passed Conference Report Proquest Congressional includes(engrossed) in one chamber it is Conference Reportssent on to the next chamber andthe process repeated in that 1973-74 (93rd Congress) – presentchamber. Thus, for each bill there (Present Congress is 112th) House andcan be House and Senate Senate Report numbers given inHearings, House and Senate Thomas’ bill information; found inReports and House and Senate Serial Set. Full text available throughDebates. If the bill is agreed to by Thomas for 1989-presentboth chambers, it is sent on tothe president for his signature. If Pre 1973-74 (93rd Congress)each chamber approves a Serial Set. The Congressional Recorddifferent version, a conference Index includes a section ("History ofcommittee is formed. A Bills and Resolutions“) listing Houseconference report can be issued and Senate Bill Numbers and theirfrom this committee. status. It includes the House and Senate Conference Report numbers
There was not a separate Senate Report nor a Conference Report for this bill. It was considered in the Senate and passed, as recorded in the Congressional Record.http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-1997-11-04/pdf/CREC-1997-11-04-pt1-PgS11706-3.pdf#page=1
Action Publication Locating publicationOnce the bill is passed by both Slip Law 1989 (101st Congress) – present (Presentchambers, it becomes an Enrolled Congress is 112th) Slip Laws areAct. It is then sent to the President sometimes published as one of the Billwho can sign or veto it. Versions in Thomas. Pre 1989 (101st) From 1973-present Slip Laws are distributed to Federal Depository Libraries but once the Public Law is received in the format of the U.S. Statutes, depositories are allowed to dispose of the Slip Law.
Action Publication Locating publicationIf the President signs the bill, it becomes Public Law Proquest Congressional 1989-presenta Public Law. Beginning in 1908, eachPublic Law was assigned a number that 1989 (101st) – present (Present Congress isbegins with the Session Number and 112th) The link to the Public Law is availableends with a number related to the bill’s through Thomas.order of passage. eg. PL 105-81 Pre 1989 (101st) Only available in the U.S. Statutes at LargePublic Laws are compiled and published U.S. Statutes at The Wyoming State Law Library has thein the U.S. Statutes at Large. They Large complete bound version of the U.S. Statutes atreceive a Statute Number that begins Large.with a volume number and ends with Volume 1(1st Congress 1789)- 18 (43rdthe first page of the Public Law in the Congress 1875) are available online throughvolume. the Library of Congress (http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwslli nk.html) Volume 65 (82nd Congress 1951-present are available through GPO (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection. action?collectionCode=GPO&browsePath=Uni ted+States+Statutes+at+Large+%28Digitized% 29&isCollapsed=false&leafLevelBrowse=false& ycord=241) They are also available in Hein Online
1973-74 (93rd Congress) – present (Present Congress is 112th) Listed in Thomas http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.phphttp://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d105:H.R.708:
1975 – presentListed at the end of the Public Law in the U.S. Statutes at Large
1873 – presentThe bound edition of "Congressional Record Index", particularly its accompanying"History of Bills and Resolutions". The index and history of House and Senate billshas been produced for each congressional session since the Congressional Recordbegan in 1873.The bound edition is only available through Hein Online, Proquest Congressionalor in paper at WSL
Summary Sheet for the Legislative History of a BillBill Number _________H.R. 708____________________________(Remember to note which Chamber)Hearing Date(s) _July 22, 1997__________________________________________________________Report Number (House) _____House Report 105-300_____________________________________Report Number (Senate) ____NA___________________________________________________Report Number (Conference) __NA_________________________________________________Congressional Record Debate Page Numbers:Public Law Number ______105-81_________________Statute Number ________111 STAT 1537______________
Summary Sheet for the Legislative History of a BillBill Number _____________________________________(Remember to note which Chamber)Hearing Number ________________________________________________________________Report Number (House) __________________________________________________________Report Number (Senate) _________________________________________________________Report Number (Conference) _____________________________________________________Congressional Record Debate Page Numbers _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Public Law Number _____________________________________________________________Statute Number ________________________________________________________________