United States

Laws

THOMAS Contains the full text of laws since 1973. Public laws are listed sequentially in law number sequence and bill number sequence.

United States Statutes at Large 1789-1873 Every law, public and private, ever enacted by the Congress is published in the Statutes at Large in order of the date of passage. The seventeen volumes presented in this online collection cover the laws of the first forty-two Congresses, 1789-1873.

United States Code

The United States Code is the codification (i.e. arrangement by subject) of the general and permanent laws of the United States. It is divided by broad subjects into 50 titles.

U.S. Code Classification Tables [2001 to date]

These tables show where recently enacted laws will appear in the United States Code and which sections of the Code have been amended by those laws. Sorted by Congress, then by either Public Law or U.S. Code section. Updated within one to two days of federal legislation enacted into law.

Founding Documents

House of Representatives 

Senate

Legislation

Legislative Process 
How Our Laws Are Made
Provides a basic outline of the steps of federal lawmaking process.
Learn About Congress [Center on Congress]
Guides to how members decide to vote, the legislative process, the role of Congress, etc.
The Legislative Process [House of Representatives]
A summary explanation of how the legislative process works.
Resumes of Congressional Activity
Provides statistical data about the workload of each Congress. 
 
Dictionaries & Glossaries of Legislative Terms
 
Congressional Bills Glossary
Presents abbreviations for types of legislation, abbreviations for versions of bills, definitions of types of legislation, and definitions of common versions of bills.
Glossary of Terms in the Federal Budget Process
Glossary of legislative terms associated with the budget process.
Senate Glossary
Provides brief definitions of terms related to Congress and the legislative process.                              

Legislative Branch Resources via GPO Access

Committees

House Committees

Committee Jurisdictions
Senate Committees
 

Congressional Record

The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It is published daily when Congress is in session.

THOMAS Contains the full text of the Congressional Record since 1989 and the Congressional Record Index since 1994.

GPO Access 1994 to present Full text of the Congressional Record since 1994 plus the Congressional Record Index since 1983.  

Constitution

Constitution of the United States U.S. Constitution, Analysis and Interpretation
Annotations of Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. 1992 Edition with 1996, 1998 and 2000 Supplements.

Legislative Support Agencies

Congressional Budget Office
Provides Congress with objective, timely, nonpartisan analyses needed for economic and budget decisions and with the information and estimates required for the Congressional budget process.

Congressional Research Service                                                                                                                                                      The Congressional Research Service [CRS] is a department of the Library of Congress, works exclusively as a nonpartisan analytical, research, and reference arm for Congress. The CRS mission is to support an informed national legislature. There is no comprehensive source for CRS Reports. CRS Reports can be found at:

Congressional Research Service Reports
Policy reviews and current events. Open CRS is a centralized utility that brings together reports that are already in the public domain.
Federation of American Scientists
Extensive collection of CRS reports on: Intelligence and Related Issues, Space and Science, Nuclear, Chemical and Missile Weapons and Proliferation and Military and National Security.
Thurgood Marshall Law Library
Extensive collection of CRS reports on a wide variety of topics.
Government Accountability Office
The Government Accountability Office is the investigative arm of Congress. GAO examines the use of public funds, evaluates federal programs and activities, and provides analyses, options, recommendations, and other assistance to help the Congress make effective oversight, policy, and funding decisions.

Administrative Law

Federal Register  The Federal Register is the official vehicle for making the regulations and legal notices issued by the federal agencies and departments available to the public. These include federal agency documents, such as regulations (proposed, temporary, amended and final) having general applicability and legal affect, documents required to be published by act of Congress, federal agency documents of public interest, grant notices, meeting notices, and Presidential proclamations and executive orders.The Federal Register is published Monday through Friday except Federal holidays. Use the Federal Register for administrative announcements as well as to monitor changes to the Code of Federal Regulations.

GPO Access 
Able to search by keyword(s) since 1994 and page number since 1995. Also able to browse daily issues starting in 1998. Search Tips contains useful suggestions how to search the Federal Register via GPO Access.
Comment on Proposed Regulations
Regulations.gov 
Created to make it easier for citizens to participate in Federal rule making. You can search, review and comment on Federal agency rules and proposed rules open for comment.

Code of Federal Regulations The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is a codification of the general and permanent rules and regulations of the executive departments of the federal government. It is divided into 50 separate sections, called titles. Each title covers a general subject area.

GPO Access Search CFR by keyword or citation or browse section by section.

Legal Information Institute [Cornell University] Able to search by citation, keyword or browse by section.

LexisNexis AcademicList of CFR Sections Affected  (LSA) since 1986

To bring CFR regulations up to date by searching or browsing the online LSA Service: (1) consult the most recent issue of the LSA for any changes, additions, or removals published after the revision date of the CFR volume you are using; and (2) then access the Current List of CFR Parts Affected for less detailed but timely changes published after the final date included in the LSA. Able to search or browse the List of Sections Affected.
Unified Agenda
The Unified Agenda summarizes the rules and proposed rules that each agency expects to issue during the following six months. The agendas are published in the Federal Register, usually during April and October each year, as part of the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.
Regulatory Information Service Center [U Massachusetts]

GPO Access

Agency Decisions Each Federal agency that adjudicates administrative law publishes its decisions.Federal Administrative Decisions & other Actions Links to Federal administrative actions that are outside the scope of the Code of Federal Regulations or the Federal Register. What is available via the Internet varies from agency to agency. Examples include:

  • Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Administrative Law Judges. Decisions & Orders
  • National Labor Relations Board Decisions
  • Internal Revenue Bulletins

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