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Federal Legislative History

Legislative process, bills, reports, hearings, debates, etc. will be covered in this guide.


House and Senate subcommittees hear testimony on proposed legislation in order to determine the need for new legislation in a particular area and to hear the views of various persons or organizations interested in the legislation. Hearings can provide a wealth of information for background research into the issue Congress is addressing. Hearings are held for almost all substantive legislation and transcripts of most hearings (including exhibits provided by those testifying) are published. For interpreting enacted legislation, hearings are less useful than other legislative documents because they focus on the views of the parties testifying rather than the views of the committee or Congress

To Find Hearings

Hearings are available as follows: