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How to Find Copies of Bills

The full text of recent bills is available online. Printed copies can be ordered from the Senate or House Document Rooms, or found in a depository library. Senate bills are also sometimes printed in the Congressional Record.

To check the status or request a copy of legislation, provide the bill or public law number. Commonly Searched for Legislation is one of several resources that will help you find bill numbers.

Web Access

  • provides the full text of bills from the 103rd Congress (1993) to the present and summaries of bills from the 93rd Congress (1973) to the present. Searches can be conducted by key word and bill number. Searches can also be conducted within the categories of current legislation, all legislation, all sources, members, Congressional Record, committee reports, and nominations. There is also the ability to narrow a search using facets such as congress number, bill type, the status of legislation, subject-policy area, chamber, committee, sponsor, cosponsor, and party. Results can be sorted by date of introduction, latest action, number, title, and law number. If an account is created, then searches can be saved for later research. A sequential list of all bills and resolutions is also available to browse.
  • GPO provides the full text of bills from the 103rd Congress (1993) to the present. It is possible to search by bill number, or to browse a list of all bills and resolutions.


Document Rooms

Senate Printing & Document Services may be able to provide a copy of a bill or resolution from the current Congress. Contact Senate Printing & Document Services for availability.


Bills and resolutions may be available in large library systems or college libraries, frequently as a part of their participation in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Over 1,100 libraries participate in the FDLP, collecting and/or providing public access to government documents. A directory of depository libraries is available on GPO's website. Since most depository libraries are within a university or state library, calling ahead to ask about hours is advised.

Congressional Record

Some Senate bills are printed in the Congressional Record, generally on the day they are introduced. Quite often, a senator gives a statement of introduction, which is helpful in understanding the provisions of the bill. The text of House measures are rarely printed, and there are usually no statements of introduction.