The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings, debates, and activities of Congress. Although the Record contains a substantially verbatim account of the proceedings and debate, it also contains extensive inserted materials, communications from the President and executive agencies, memorials, and petitions.
There are two editions of the Record, a daily one and a bound, permanent one. The daily edition reports each day’s proceedings in Congress and is published on the succeeding day.
are the class of publications issued by congressional committees or the full House or Senate that are numbered with the designation H. Doc. or S. Doc. This publication type can contain: Presidential messages proposing new legislation or vetoing legislation passed by Congress; special reports of executive branch agencies; congressional committee activity reports; committee-sponsored special studies and background information published as official documents rather than committee prints; annual reports of certain patriotic and veterans groups; memorial tributes; and compilations of background information related to annual intercollegiate and high school debate topics.
are the designated class of publications by which congressional committees report and make recommendations to the House or Senate as a whole. These reports concern the findings of committee hearings or the outcome of committee deliberations. They can contain discussions of legislative intent, a short history of a bill, and comparisons of current and proposed law text. Reports are assigned separate sequential numbers within each Chamber (e.g., H. Rpt. 99-1, S. Rpt. 99-1). Since 1969 (91st Congress) the assigned number has included the Congress number as an intrinsic part of the report number.
Published hearings are the official record of committee hearings proceedings. Hearings, which are usually open to the public, are held to enable committees to gather opinions and information to help Members make decisions regarding proposed legislation or to help them fulfill their oversight and investigation responsibilities.
Legislative Histories are the best way to research all the documents that were created in order to pass a bill. It includes all the versions of the bills, from both houses, House & Senate committee reports and documents, hearings, floor debate in the Congressional Record, even documents from Weekly and Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents, and the final text of the bill or act.