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Government Information : Legislative

Government Information Guide guide for Federal Depository Libraries. (adapted from Muskingum University via Ryan McLaughlin)

The Legislative Branch

Established by Article I of the Constitution, the Legislative Branch consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which together form the United States Congress. The Constitution grants Congress the sole authority to enact legislation and declare war, the right to confirm or reject many Presidential appointments, and substantial investigative powers. 

House & Senate

Guide to House and Senate Members (GPO) Online directory on members of Congress.

Congressional Directory is the official directory of the U.S. Congress.

House of Representatives




Tools for Tracking Legislation

Thomas is the search engine for legislation covering 1973 to present. (search tips)

Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress covering 1994 to present. (search tips)

History of Bills lists legislative actions on bills that are reported in the Congressional Record covering 1983 to present. (search tips)

OpenCongress aggregates official legislative information with news articles and blog posts. Be aware that the relevance of news articles and blog posts is not good for less popular members of the Senate or House of Representatives.

Law & Regulation

Laws and Regulations

U.S. Code from the U.S. House of Representatives (search tips)

Code of Federal Regulations is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. (search tips)

Federal Register is the is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents covering 1994-present. (search tips)

Public and Private Laws is the text of enacted public laws from 1995/96 to present. (search tips)



Government Accountability Office (GAO) studies the programs and expenditures of the federal government and makes recommendations on how to make government more effective and responsive.