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Federal Legislative History Research Guide: Committee Reports

Resources and process for locating the legislative history of a federal law.

Committee Reports

Committee reports are usually considered to be the most important documents of a legislative history.  Reports are issued by House, Senate, and Joint Conference Committees. They often contain an analysis of the intent and committee rationale behind the proposed legislation. Committee Reports are issued as part of the  Serial Se (KF12.U5, 4th Floor Stacks), which contains the sequentially numbered Senate and House Documents and Senate and House Reports for each session of Congress.


Committee Reports Available Online

ProQuest Legislative Insight (access: restricted to Hastings students, faculty, and staff) 
This subscription Internet database provides full-text of committee reports from 1970 to present; by the end of 2012, it will include materials from 1929.

ProQuest Congressional (access: restricted to Hastings students, faculty, and staff)
This subscription Internet database provides full-text of committee reports from 1990 to present.

Lexis
The Committee Reports file, LEGIS;CMTRPT contains full-text of House and Senate committee reports from 1990 to present.

Westlaw 
From 1948 through 1989, the LH database contains only the Congressional Committee Reports reprinted in the United States Code Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN). From 1990 to date, this database contains all congressional committee reports, including reports on bills that did not become law.

Thomas
Includes committee reports from the 104th Congress (1995) to present.

The Library of Congress's American Memory Project has reports from 1789 to 1838 online as part of the American State Papers, and from 1833 to 1917 has selected reports online as part of the U.S. Serial Set.

GPO FDsys 
Has Congressional Committee Reports from the 104th Congress (1995) to present.

Committee Reports Available In Print

Committee reports are available in paper format from the 15th Congress (1817) to date, as part of the Serial Set (KF12.U5, 4th Floor Stacks). From 1789 to 1838, reports are part of the American State Papers  (J55,  6th Floor Oversized Stacks).

US Code Congressional and Administrative News (USCCAN) (KF48, 4th Floor Stacks), contains selected full-text House and Senate reports from the 78th Congress (1943) to date. The reports are included in the "Legislative History" volumes. This set also includes partial reprints of some reports and citation information for others.

Comittee Reports Available on Microfiche
The most complete source of committee reports available in the Library is the CIS microfiche set. (KF49.C622, Micrographics Room).  House, Senate, and Joint Conference Committee Reports from the 1st Congress forward are available on microfiche as part of this set.   To locate reports in this set, you will need the American State Papers or Serial Set citation and/or the CIS number.  Please contact a Reference Librarian if you need help.

Searching Hint:  Google Book Search
If you've looked everywhere, and can't find a report, put the information into Google Book Search. Google Book Search is scanning some Congressional reports.