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Cornell Library at Vermont Law & Graduate School

Legislative History Research (Federal): Debate/Congressional Record

The Text of Debate

The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and the debates of the United States Congress. It includes the text of House and Senate floor debates, which are discussions in favor of and in opposition to a bill that can shed light on the intended effects of a piece of legislation. (Sponsors' and committee chairs' statements can be especially illuminating.)

About the Congressional Record, provided by, is very informative.


Westlaw provides the following:

Congressional Record 1985 - 


Lexis Advance

Lexis provides the following:

Congressional Record 1989 -                            (In the main search box, type "committee reports" Select Congressional Record  from the sources listed in the drop down menu)

Congressional Record Retro 1873-1997        (In the main search box, type "congressional record"  Select Congressional Record Retro 1873-1997 from the sources listed in the drop down menu)

Physically in the VLS LIbrary

Congressional Record  1977--2008  can be found in the Library's Microfiche Collection


ProQuest Congressional

ProQuest Congressional provides:

Congressional Record  1985 -                     Select Congressional Record Daily Edition under the Advanced Search option. 



HeinOnline provides: 

In the  U.S. Congressional Documents Collection:

Congressional Record Bound and Daily Versions  1980

Also, the three predecessor titles: Annals of Congress (1789-1824), Register of Debates (1824-1837) Congressional Globe (1833-1873),

GovInfo and The Library of Congress and The Library of Congress provide:

GovInvo: Congressional Record  1994 -  and also Digital Version of  bound Congressional Record 1951-2009. Earlier years are gradually being added.

Library of Congress Annals of Congress 1789-1824

Library of Congress Register of Debates 1824-1837

Library of Congress Congressional Globe 1873-1875


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