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Federal Legislative History  

Last Updated: Mar 20, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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How are laws made?

Learn about the legislative process using educational resources from the Library of Congress

How do I start researching legislative history?

To research legislative history, you will need to figure out what course a bill took after it was introduced.  So a bill number is key in identifying the major legislative history documents associated with it.  It is also helpful to know the public law number and Statutes-at-Large citation.

If you are beginning with a U.S. Code citation, refer to the historical notes at the end of each section of the U.S. Code which will cite to at least one public law number.

If you are beginning with a popular name of a law (e.g. Americans with Disabilities Act), refer to the Popular Name tables on Cornell’s Popoular Name Table online site, or the print or electronic versions USCA and USCS.

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