This is a collection of resources designed to enhance access to information produced by and about the U.S. Congress. Find the companion page at ESSL PS303 Page.
In this database you can find:
In ProQuest Congressional interfaces, note that the default setting is usually two years. Check the other default settings for each search as well.
Identifying and accessing full-text congressional publications
These include bills, hearings, committee reports, committee prints, statutes or laws, and the Congressional Record (which is accessed through a separate interface). One interface is for searches using text; for the other, you need document numbers prior to entry. Use Index Terms whenever possible and type quotation marks around all exact phrases. Document numbers, including classification numbers called SuDoc numbers, provide the fastest access to congressional publications. Full-text congressional documents of all types are available through the LexisNexis Congressional numeric search and the Library of Congress's Thomas.
Legislative Histories, Bills & Laws
Plug in the document numbers you identify through your Congressional Publications search.
Members & Committees
All of the information on committees is readily available on House and Senate committee web sites, but the options for sorting data on members of congress is valuable.
Use to identify bills sponsored, the sources and amounts of the member's campaign contributions, and financial disclosure records, as well as floor statements and votes and biographical information.
Use "Look up a Member" to ensure that the database retrieves information about only one person. The default setting is Senators, so when you Look up a Member in order to find a representative, click on Representatives first.
Use this interface to identify and group current members of Congress by gender, race, party affiliation, date of birth, religion, previous military service, educational attainment, alma mater, year of election, and membership in the House or Senate.
Congressional Record and Rules
Search the Congressional Record for 1987 to the present. The Library of Congress and GPO Access also provide full-text access to this title. The Library of Congress Congressional Record has a good interface but covers fewer years than LexisNexis.
Access the contents of three publications that cover Congressional news extensively: The Hill, Roll Call, and the Washington Post. If you wish to search only one or two of these titles, click on the checked boxes to deselect the other(s).
Legislative Resources at GovTrack
This is a free U.S. government source, and links to resources in FDsys and in other government databases. These contain many resources that ProQuest/Lexis does not offer.
U.S. House of Representatives
This resource contains what you expect: member information, links to committee sites, and schedules.
Like the House site, this contains what students in this course expect to find. But the statistics, lists, and links on the Senate Historical Office site are a treasure. Find useful and intriguing information about votes, political parties and their leadership, and much more.
Congressional Budget Office
Provides Congress with cost estimates of proposed legislation. Plug in the bill number, and the CBO will give you the legislation's estimated cost.
Congressional Research Service
There is no central online site for this body's reports, but a number of sites provide access to some:
General Accounting Office / Government Accountability Office
Audits and evaluates government programs and activities. Most GAO reviews are undertaken at the request of congressional committees.
Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
: Washington, DC: Bureau of the Census, 1978-
DOC.C3.134: - GDL Reference & Main Stacks
Use the index to find data on congressional elections and many aspects of the House and Senate, such as their racial composition.
America Votes: A Handbook of Contemporary Election Statistics. Washington, D.C.:
Congressional Quarterly. 1956-
324.73 Am38 - Reference Library
This is the standard source for data about U.S. elections since 1950. Provides results for presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial elections.
This is the Census Bureau's tool for accessing 2000 and 2010 census data on the population of all geographic entities, including congressional districts.
Federal Elections Commission
The Disclosure Data Search identifies the source and amount of all contributions to the campaigns of members of Congress. Click on "Candidate Search" and enter the candidates name. Other useful information can be found via the Individual Search.
Find statistics available on U.S. government web sites, either by topic or by agency.
Limit your search by subject, title, geographic area, demographic characteristics, and economic characteristics.
Click on the Who Gets and Who Gives menus to find extensive data on contributors to congressional campaigns.
Provides data on funds devoted to lobbying by particular companies, lobbying firms, individual lobbyists, or industries.
Includes the CQ Weekly, CQ Encyclopedia of American Government, and other public affairs sources.
Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly,
328.7305 COQA - Main Stacks
Contains brief articles written in plain English on the status of bills, votes and amendments, floor and committee activity, and other congressional news.
Congressional Quarterly Almanac. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1948-2000.
328.7305 COQ - GDL Reference & Main Stacks.
No source provides a better overview of Congressional activity during a given year. It is continued by CQ Almanac Plus.
CQ Almanac Plus. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 2001-
328.7305 COQ1 - GDL Reference
Continues the Congressional Quarterly Almanac.
Congress and the Nation. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1965-
320.973 C76 - GDL Reference
Provides analytic summaries of all legislative activity occurring during four-year periods. Provides document numbers that facilitate the use of LexisNexis Congressional and Thomas.
Features controversies in U.S. public policy.
Focuses on current public policy issues.
Contains information on thousands of candidates' and officials' backgrounds, positions on issues, voting records, campaign funds, and performance evaluations.
of American Politics
. Washington, DC: National Journal, 1972-
328.73 Al62 - ESSL Reference, GDL Reference
Excellent, concise coverage of current elected US officials. Covers the presidency, senators, representatives, and governors. Cites election results, individuals' records, and committee memberships. Organized by state, indexed by topic and personal name.
America: History and Life
and Historical Abstracts
America: History and Life is a complete bibliographic reference to the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. Published since 1964, the database comprises almost 400,000 bibliographic entries. Historical Abstracts is your complete reference guide to the history of the world from 1450 to the present, excluding the United States and Canada.
American Congressional Dictionary. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 2001.
328.73003 K869c 2001 - ESSL Reference
Source of definitions and brief explanations of many of the terms and expression in current use in the Congress. Focuses on the legislative process with many cross-references.
Congress A to Z: A Ready Reference Encyclopedia. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2003 (4th ed).
328.73003 C76 2003 - ESSL Reference
Provides an overview of the history and operation of Congress by broad subject area, as well as non-technical explanations of congressional procedures.
Congress of the United States: Powers, Structure, and Procedures. Huntington, NY: Nova Science Publishers, 2001.
328.73 C765 - ESSL Reference
Essays on legislative powers, conference committee and related procedures, committees of the Senate and House, amending process of the Senate and House, filibusters and more, include documentary text and analysis with lots of references.
Congressional Districts in the 2000s: A Portrait of America, Washington, DC: CQ Press,
Q.328.7307345 C7621 - ESSL Reference
This provides a state-by-state, district-by-district listing of information on population, history, industry, and more, as well as appendices for census tables, measuring congressional districts, high and low Congressional District rankings, redistricting court cases, and the District of Columbia.
Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process
328.73 OL2c 1989 - GDL Reference
Explains matters such as the congressional budget process, the scheduling of legislative activities, legislative oversight, House-Senate differences, and House and Senate floor procedures.
Congressional Quarterly's Guide to Congress. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2000 (5th ed.).
Q.328.73 C7611g 2000 - GDL Reference; Undergrad Reference
This 2-volume set includes sections on the origins and development of Congress, congressional powers, congressional procedures, pressures on Congress, the housing and support of House and Senate members, pay and perquisites, Congress and the electorate, and qualifications and conduct.
Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections. , 2001.
329.023 C761 1994 - ESSL Reference
Contains election data for all major political offices since 1824. Data covers presidential, Senate, House, and gubernatorial elections. Includes a detailed table of contents, a candidate index, and a general index for easy access.
Congressional Quarterly's Politics in America 1996: The 104th Congress. Phillip D. Duncan and Christine C. Lawrence. 1995.
328.73 P759 1996 - ESSL Reference
A source for detailed biographical information about U.S. senators and representatives. Editorial biographies include photos, election data, campaign finance reports, and analyses of legislative influence and political alliances. Also includes special interest group ratings and synopses of key votes.
Voting and Elections
CQ Voting and Elections Collection integrates a wealth of data, authoritative analyses, concise explanations, and historical material to provide a powerful research and reference tool on the American voter, major and minor political parties, etc. An associated database on election results is also part of this resource.
Directory of Congressional Voting Scores and Interest Group Ratings. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 2000, (3rd ed), 2 volumes.
Q328.730775 Sh23d 2000 - ESSL Reference
Listing of voting scores and group ratings by individual for members from the 80th to the 105th Congress. Includes information on date of birth, religion, education, occupation, military service, political background and election record with voting scores on four aspects and ratings from ten organizations
Elections A to Z, Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2003 (2nd ed).
324.6097303 M784e - ESSL Reference
Basic information on the many aspects of U.S. elections in one volume. No bibliography, but a large amount of factual and statistical information. ESSL Reference - 324
Encyclopedia of the American Legislative System: Studies of the Principal Structures, Processes, and Policies of Congress and the State Legislatures Since the Colonial Era. Joel Silbey. 1994.
Q.328.73003 En19 - ESSL Reference
This 3-volume encyclopedia is divided into six topical areas: the historical context of the legislative system; recruitment and elections; structures and processes; behavior; legislatures and public policy; and legislatures within the political system. Each section is composed of essays written by noted authors.
Encyclopedia of the United States Congress, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995
Q.328.73003 En192 - ESSL Reference
Medium to long essays concerning the work of the Congress with very rich bibliographies for further research.
Facts about the Congress. New York : Wilson, 1996 -
328.7309 C462f - ESSL Reference
Facts about the U.S. Congresses from the 1st to the 104th includes information about important legislation, committee members, and much more. Includes bibliographical references and an extensive index.
P.A.I.S. (Public Affairs
This is a bibliographic index with abstracts covering the full range of political, social, and public policy issues. Topics covered include economic, political, and social issues, business, finance, law, international trade and relations, public administration, government, political science, and any topics that are or might become the subject of legislation. The database covers selected journal articles, books, statistics, yearbooks, directories, conference proceedings, pamphlets, reports, government documents, and microfiche. More than 1,600 journals and over 8,000 monographs are indexed each year. Coverage includes documents published worldwide in any of six languages: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. The subject headings and abstracts are in English. Covers 1972-present.
United States Government Manual . Washington, D.C.: Office of the Federal Register, 1974-
DOC.AE1.208/2: - GDL Reference | 353 Un343u1 - ESSL Reference
Provides complete information on agencies in all three branches of the U.S. government as well as semi-official agencies and international organizations in which the U.S. participates. The most recent volume is available in the Reference Library; the Education & Social Science Library holds the year prior to the current volume.