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Legislative History

This LibGuide will help users locate documents and conduct legislative history research at North Carolina Central University School of Law's Library.

Why are Congressional debates important to the legislative history process?

Congressional debates are important to legislative history research because unlike committee hearings, the statements made come directly from legislators.  This means the researcher can more easily ascertain the intent of the Congress when passing legislation.  Also, Congresspeople are allowed to submit prepared statements to make their views on legislation clear.  However, researchers should be aware that Congresspeople can amend or supplement their statements, so while debates are an excellent source for determining legislative intent, they are not definitive sources.

Print Resources

  • Congressional Record: The Congressional Record provides researchers with a transcript of the happenings on both Senate and House floors from 1873 to present.  There are two different versions of this publication - the daily and the permanent bound versions.  In order to locate the text of a Congressional debate, the researcher will need to know when a bill was debated.  To locate this information, the researcher will want to first consult USCCAN or the History of Bills and Resolutions table in annual volumes of the Congressional Record.  The Congressional Record can be found on the 2nd floor of the Law Library or in microfiche.  Please see a Reference Librarian or Circulation Assistant if you wish to access microfiche materials.

Electronic Resources