How do I find a publication or a bill that I just heard about in the news within the last few days?

Bill texts and House and Senate reports usually become available within a day or two of publication by the Government Printing Office (GPO). House and Senate documents become available within a week or so of publication. Hearings transcripts and/or selected witness statements become available for most hearings a day or two after the hearing is held.

To find bill texts, select Legislative Histories, Bills & Laws from the left-hand navigation bar. If you know the subject of the bill, select "Bills (Full Text)" from the Keyword Search form and type in a search term associated with the bill. If you know the number of the bill, select the Get a Document tab, choose Bills (Full Text) from the drop-down list, and enter the bill number in the box. Make sure the drop-down lists for Congress and Chamber are set correctly. At times there may be a delay after a bill has been introduced before it is included in ProQuest Congressional because of GPO printing delays.

To find House and Senate reports or documents, select Congressional Publications from the left-hand navigation bar. Go to the Advanced Search Form (Congressional Publications) and enter one or more keyword terms in the box(es). Change the drop-down list so that you search all fields including full text. You may also limit your search to House & Senate Reports or House & Senate Documents and restrict your search by date. Your results will include the full text of the report or document as well as a results record linked to the full text that provides bibliographic data and indexing. The results record linked to the full text may also be accessed by a keyword search on the Basic Search Form (Congressional Publications).

If you know the number of the report or document, you may also select the Search by Number tab. The default is already set to find a congressional publication by number. Type in the number of the publication you are looking for in the Publication Number box. If you are searching for a publication other than a House report, you must change the default drop-down list next to Publication Number to select the correct publication type. The Congress default is already set to the current Congress. Enter the report number in the box and click the Search button. You will retrieve a results record linked to the full text.

To find hearing transcripts and/or selected statements, select Congressional Publications from the left-hand navigation bar. Go to the Advanced Search Form (Congressional Publications) and enter one or more keyword terms in the box(es). Change the drop-down list so that you search all fields including full text. You may also limit your search to hearings and restrict your search by date. Your results will include available transcripts and submitted statements, a results record that provides bibliographic data and indexing, and links to the transcripts and statements. The results record linked to the full text may also be accessed by a keyword search on the Basic Search Form (Congressional Publications).

Keep in mind that a topic that surfaces in news reports may not have new congressional publications associated with it. If you’ve restricted your search by date and don’t find what you are looking for, try expanding the date range to include earlier publications.

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