Click on the links below to find out what types of information can be found in this resource. Use the Advanced Search option in ProQuest Congressional to select the type of publication and date range you need.
Bills & Laws, 1789 - present
- Enter the name of the law “Americans with disabilities act of 1990"
- If you know the number of a bill or law use the search by number option. Examples:
- Search for Bill Number H.R. 74 7260 or Public Law 111-148
- Use drop-down menu options for the years and Congressional sessions you need.
- Sort results by date. If you know the approximate date a bill was passed enter it in the date field
- Try sorting results by oldest date first or most recent first
Look for clues –
- Was the Social Security Act originally called by that name?
- Can you find the House Resolution (H.R.) number (H.R. 7260 for the original Social Security Act)
- Look up H.R. 7260 for 1935 and you’ll find P.L. 74-271
- P.L. stands for Public Law. The 74 stands for the session of Congress in which this law was passed. You can narrow your search to a specific session of Congress using the drop-down menu directly above the search button on the advanced search screen.
Committee Prints & Misc. Publications, 1817 - present
- Committee prints may provide background from experts for committees working on bills. Committee prints prior to the 1970s may be harder to find.
- An example “Hurricane Katrina: A Nation Still Unprepared”, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. May 2006.
Congressional Record Bound Edition & Predecessors, 1789 - 1999
The official proceedings of Congress for each session, includes house and senate speeches and debates. The Congressional Record is a verbatim account of all discussion in Congress.
Congressional Record Daily Edition, 1985 - present
A daily record of Congressional proceedings which are eventually bound together for each session.
CRS Reports, 1916 - present
Provides a wealth of background information on key issues before Congress. Produced by the Congressional Research Service and provided to members of Congress to help them quickly understand the history and issues involved in current legislation. Reports include:
- Community Service Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding, August 9, 2012
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Welfare Waivers, July 24, 2012
- Poverty in the United States: A Bibliography, March 24, 1966
- American Negro and the Program of Aid to Families with Dependent Children, October 7, 1968
Hearings, 1824 - present
- Expert testimony for or against current bills being considered.
- Use drop-down menu to search for witness affiliation (University of Michigan) or witness name (Laura Lein or Jane Addams)
House & Senate Documents & Reports, 1817 - present
House and Senate documents are the class of publications issued by congressional committees or the full House or Senate that are numbered with the designation H. Doc. or S. Doc. This publication type can contain: Presidential messages proposing new legislation or vetoing legislation passed by Congress; special reports of executive branch agencies; congressional committee activity reports; committee-sponsored special studies and background information published as official document.
Serial Set & Serial Maps, 1789 - present
Contains nearly all of the hundreds of thousands of numbered congressional reports and documents published since 1817 and many from 1789. These reports may be duplicated from the House & Senate Documents and House & Senate Reports sections in ProQuest Congressional. As its name implies, Serial Set Maps contains maps included in the serial set.
Legislative Histories, 1969 - present
The legislative history of a bill is comprised of the various texts drafted by Congress from the time the bill is introduced in the House or Senate until it either becomes a Public Law or dies.
ProQuest Congressional also provides easy online access to the Washington Post from 1987 - present.