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The ''Congressional Record'' is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the
United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising a lower body, the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives, and an upper body, t ...

United States Congress
, published by the
United States Government Publishing Office The United States Government Publishing Office (USGPO or GPO; formerly the United States Government Printing Office) is an agency of the legislative branch A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of ...

United States Government Publishing Office
and issued when Congress is in session. Indexes are issued approximately every two weeks. At the end of a session of Congress, the daily editions are compiled in bound volumes constituting the permanent edition
Chapter 9 of Title 44 of the United States Code
authorizes publication of the ''Congressional Record''.


Overview

The ''Congressional Record'' consists of four sections: the
House A house is a single-unit residential building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and functio ...
section, the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
section, the Extensions of Remarks, and, since the 1940s, the Daily Digest. 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. A section of the ''Congressional Record'' titled ''Extensions of Remarks'' contains speeches, tributes and other extraneous words that were not uttered during open proceedings of the full Senate or of the full House of Representatives. Witnesses in committee hearings are often asked to submit their complete testimony "for the record" and only deliver a summary of it in person. The full statement will then appear in a printed volume of the hearing identified as "Statements for the Record". In years past, this particular section of the ''Congressional Record'' was called the "Appendix". While members of either body may insert material into Extensions of Remarks, Senators rarely do so. The overwhelming majority of what is found there is entered at the request of Members of the House of Representatives. From a legal standpoint, most materials in the ''Congressional Record'' are classified as
secondary authority In law, a secondary authority is an authority purporting to explain the meaning or applicability of the actual verbatim texts of Primary authority, primary authorities (such as constitutions, statutes, case law, Administrative law, administrative re ...
, as part of a statute's
legislative history Legislative history includes any of various materials generated in the course of creating legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolled bill, enrolling, enactment of a bill, enacting, or promulgation, promulgating law by a legi ...
. By custom and rules of each house, members also frequently "revise and extend" their remarks made on the floor before the debates are published in the ''Congressional Record''. Therefore, for many years, speeches that were not delivered in Congress appeared in the ''Congressional Record'', including in the sections purporting to be verbatim reports of debates. In recent years, however, these revised remarks have been preceded by a "bullet" symbol or, more recently and currently, printed in a
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typeface
discernibly different from that used to report words spoken by members. The ''Congressional Record'' is publicly available for records before 1875 via the
Library of Congress The Library of Congress (LC) is the research library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order ...

Library of Congress
'
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Century of Lawmaking website, and since 1989 via Congress.gov (which replaced the
THOMAS Thomas may refer to: People * List of people with given name Thomas * Thomas (name) * Thomas (surname) * Saint Thomas (disambiguation) * Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, and Doctor of the Church * Thomas the Apo ...

THOMAS
database in 2016). Thanks to a partnership between GPO and the Library of Congress, digital versions of the bound editions are available on govinfo.gov for 1873 to 2001 (Volumes 1-147) and 2005 to 2015 (Volumes 151-161). Govinfo.gov also provides access to digital versions of the daily edition from 1994 (Volume 140) to the present.


History

The
Constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

Constitution
, in Article I, Section 5, requires Congress to keep a
journal A journal, from the Old French ''journal'' (meaning "daily"), may refer to: *Bullet journal, a method of personal organizations *Diary, a record of what happened over the course of a day or other period *Daybook, also known as a general journal, a ...

journal
of its proceedings, although the House and Senate Journals are separate publications from the ''Congressional Record'', and include only a bare record of actions and votes, rather than verbatim texts of the debates. The ''Congressional Record'' was first published in 1873. Prior to this, proceedings, roll calls, debates, and other records were recorded in ''The Annals of Congress'' (formerly known as ''The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States''; 1789–1824), the ''Register of Debates in Congress'' (1824–1837), or the ''Congressional Globe'' (1833–1873). A digital collection of these historical volumes is now available online via the Library of Congress.


See also

* ''
Federal Register The ''Federal Register'' (FR or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official journal A government gazette (also known as official gazette, official journal, official newspaper, official monitor or official bulletin) is a periodical publication that h ...
'', the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of US federal agencies and organizations * ''
Hansard ''Hansard'' is the traditional name of the transcripts of Parliamentary debates in Britain and many Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Phi ...
'', British parliamentary record * United States ''House Journal'' * United States ''Senate Journal''


References


External links


Search ''Congressional Record''
(starting from 1927) via congress.gov
''Congressional Record'' Bound Edition
(from 1873) via govinfo.gov
''Congressional Record'' Daily Edition
(from 1994) via govinfo.gov
''Congressional Record'' Index
(from 1983) via govinfo.gov
Overview of the ''Congressional Record'' and Its Predecessor Publications: A Research Guide

Sessions of Congress and Corresponding Debate Record Volume Numbers

Find ''Congressional Record'' in a Depository Library

Sources for the ''Congressional Record'': Free and Commercial
for people with access to libraries

containing the Annals of Congress, Register of Debates, Congressional Globe, and ''Congressional Record'', hosted by the Library of Congress {{Authority control Publications of the United States Congress Transcripts of legislative proceedings