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Legislative Process Summary
Only members of the United States Congress, consisting of the House and Senate, can introduce legislation, excluding appropriation or revenue bills which must originate in the House.
Examine the video of the Legislative Process prepared by the Library of Congress.
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The U.S. Government Printing Office disseminates official information from all three branches of the Federal Government. Search the entire catalog of government publications. Formerly called FDsys.
Access note: Freely available to the public.
Public and Private Laws (Slip Laws)
Public and private laws are also known as slip laws. A slip law is an official publication of the law and is competent evidence admissible in all state and Federal courts and tribunals of the United States. Public laws affect society as a whole, while private laws affect an individual, family, or small group.
United States Statutes at Large
Permanent laws – public and private – that were enacted during each session of Congress.
United States Code
Permanent and general laws of the United States are divided by broad subjects into fifty-one titles.
United States Code Service (USCS)
Part of LexisNexis; Provides annotations that interpret the statutory language along with references to primary and secondary sources and cross-references to relevant statutes and regulations.
Official directory of the United States Congress that includes members of the Senate and House, committee members, room and telephone numbers, and officials of the courts.
Congressional Record (daily)
Official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress.
Federal Legislative Branch
Tracing Legislation - Essential Sources
Legislative histories, which review the complete legislative cycle, are frequently compiled to analyze the legislative intent of a particular law or interpret a statute. If the legislation’s number or citation is unknown, try locating it by text searching law reviews, news databases, or legislative resources listed below. Popular name tables from the U.S. Code or Cornell’s Legal Information Institute are also helpful.
Examine the following souces to iniate a legislative review. Consult a librarian for further assistance.