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Federal Legislation

What is a Legislative History?

A legislative history is a compilation of related documents for a specific U.S. public law that usually precedes that law's enactment. Legislative history documents may include committee reports, congressional hearings, committee prints, testimonies, debates, earlier texts of the bill(s), floor amendments, and other related documents.

Excellent sources for finding legislative histories are  Federal Legislative History Research: a Practitioner's Guide to Compiling the Documents and Sifting for Legislative Intent, written by Richard J. McKinney and Ellen A. Sweet and Finding or Compiling Federal Legislative Histories Electronically by Richard J. McKinney, April 26, 2013.

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Sources for Legislative Histories

Also click on the other tabs in this guides, particularly "Bills & Resolutions" and "Congress"

To locate copies of legislative histories in the library, search "legislative histories" or "legislative history" as a subject or as a title in the online catalog, preferably in Option 3.

Supplementary Material

State Legislative Histories

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