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Locating Senate Legislation

Every year thousands of pieces of legislation are introduced in the Senate. These measures are divided into four types: bills (the most common), joint resolutions, concurrent resolutions, and simple resolutions. Every piece of legislation introduced in the Senate is assigned a number and sent to the Government Printing Office where it is then made available to the public a short time later. There are multiple ways in which individuals can access legislation:

  • THOMAS provides legislative information back to the 93rd Congress (1973). Legislation can be searched for using various fields: bill number, sponsor or cosponsor, committee, word or phrase, subject term, stage in the legislative process, or date of introduction. You may also browse lists of bills by Congress, sponsor, bill number, or title.
  • Active Legislation is a list of bills that have received legislative or media attention during a given Congress, back to the 106th Congress (1999). Bills are listed alphabetically by popular title or general subject. The list is updated weekly when the Senate is in session.
  • GPO's Congressional Bills section provides access to legislation dating back to the 103rd Congress (1993). The site allows users to browse by Congress, then bill type, and then bill number.
  • On the Senate Floor lists the floor activity from the Senate Chamber for each day the Senate is in session. The report links the legislation acted on that day to the Bill Summary & Status page on THOMAS.


In addition to the "On the Senate Floor" report, the Senate Calendar of Business and the Daily Digest portion of the Congressional Record, which are all published daily when the Senate is in session, are useful for identifying current legislation. Legislation listed in these resources can then be searched for on THOMAS.


For additional information on this topic, visit the virtual reference page Legislation and the Legislation & Records section of Senate.gov.

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Senate Historical Office

Historical information provided by the Senate Historical Office.


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