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Cornell Library at Vermont Law & Graduate School

Legislative History Research (Federal): Bills

Locating the Text of Bills

Bills are proposed legislation from the House or Senate. Bills from each chamber are assigned a number in the order in which they are introduced. Congressional sessions last for two years, and when a new session begins, bill numbering for that session's legislation starts over.


H.R. 8 (the 8th bill from the House of Representatives during a session of Congress)
S. 535 (the 535th bill from the Senate during a session of Congress)

The text of bills can be found in a number of resources including those recommended and listed below. Bills are also often found within specific Congressional Reports and also in the Congressional Record


Westlaw provides the following:

Congressional Bills includes summaries and the text of  congressional bills and resolutions introduced into the current session of Congress.

Historical Federal Bills, 1995 - 

Bill Tracking includes summaries and status information for current legislation. A legislative calendar is also included.

CRS Bill Summaries for introduced bills, are written by the Congressional Research Service, for the current session of Congress.

Lexis Advance

Lexis provides the following:

> Bill Text (Congressional Full Text Bills),   1989 -    (in separate databases by congressional session)

> Congressional Bill Tracking Reports        1989 -    (in  separate databases by congressional session) 

In the VLS LIbrary

Congressional Bills 1980-2000  can be found in the Library's Microfiche Collection

Searching  the Julien catalog for: Bills, Legislative -- United States is also recommended. Note the many Congressional Research Service Reports specific to bills that are listed for HeinOnline.

ProQuest Congressional

ProQuest Congressional provides:

Bill Text  1989 -

Bill Tracking  (with summaries) 1989 -


HeinOnline provides: 

In the  U.S. Congressional Documents Collection, under Additional Resources, a list of House and Senate bills 1900-2010. provides: 

Text of Congressional Bills, 1993-

FDSys, GovInfo and the Library of Congress

FDSys and GovInfo provide:

Text of Congressional Bills, 1993-

The Library of Congress provides:

Text of House Bills 1799-1873 and Text of Senate Bills 1819-1873


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