Congressional Information

About the Congressional Record

The Congressional Record is the record of the proceedings of Congress.  It is published daily when Congress is in session and is largely a verbatim account of the remarks and debates on the floor of the House of Representatives and the Senate.  It also includes bills resolutions, motions and roll call votes. Members are allowed to edit their comments

The Congressional Record began publication in 1873; there are three earlier publications that cover the debates of Congress from 1789 through 1873. The full text of these earlier publications are available on the Library of Congress’ Century of Lawmaking website. The Annals of Congress cover the 1st Congress through the first session of the 18th Congress (1789-1824). The Register of Debates covers the second session of the 18th Congress through the first session of the 25th Congress (1824-1837). The Congressional Globe covers the 23rd Congress through the 42nd Congress (1833-1873). In addition, the website provides the full text of the first Congressional Record that covered 1873-1875; however, Web access to the full text of the Congressional Record does not pick up again until 1989. [source]

The Congressional Record consists of four section:

  • Daily Digest [serves as the table of contents and highlights the day's action. Also includes a list of Committee meetings. Each page begins with the letter D, e.g. D1234]
  • House Section [each House page begins with the letter H e.g. H1234]
  • Senate Section [each Senate page begins with the letter S e.g. S3456]
  • Extension of Remarks [numbered sequentially throughout each session of Congress and the pages begin with the letter E, e.g. E6789]

At the back of each daily issue is the "Daily Digest," which summarizes the day's floor and committee activities and serves as a table of contents for each issue. The House and Senate sections contain proceedings for the separate chambers of Congress. Finally, the Extension of Remarks includes tributes, statements, and other information that supplements statements made on the Congressional floor. [source]

The Congressional Record is available as an app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users, with content back to 1995. The documents are delivered via searchable PDF files that can also be emailed or saved. The app is free to download via the iTunes store.

For more information the the Congressional Record and its background see the following:

The Congressional Record (Senate)

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Dcouments and Debates, 1774-1875

FDsys (GPO) About the Congressional Record

Finding the Congressional Record

You can access and search the Congressional Record and its predecessors through the following sites:

FDsys Congressional Record (1994 - present) (1995 - present)

Library of Congress American Memory

ProQuest Congressional [NPS ONLY] (1789 - present)

ProQuest Congressional Record [NPS ONLY] (1789 - present)

Daily Digest - Today's Action

Congressional Record Daily Digest