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Legislative History Research: Hearings

What are Hearing Materials?

After a bill is sent to a committee, the committee then holds hearings on the bill. In a hearing, the committee hears testimony on the bill, which includes written and oral statements by experts, representatives of agencies, or other interested parties.  It can take up to two years for a hearing to be published.

Hearing transcripts can give context, but might not be the most useful for legislative history because they focus on the testimony, not the views of the committee members.


Use Bluebook Rule 13.3 to cite hearings.

Inside Congressional Committees: Function and Dysfunction in the Legislative Process

Subscription Resources

Password-protected, access provided by the Law Library to current members of the Law School community:

Bloomberg Law - choose "legislative resources" from the "laws and regulations" dropdown menu.

HeinOnline - Congressional Hearings database

Lexis Hearings, 1824-current.

ProQuest Legislative Insight - covers Public Laws from 1929 to the present, along with related bills, hearings, Congressional Research Service reports, committee prints, committee reports, Congressional Record sections, and Presidential Signing Statements.

Westlaw - US Congressional Testimony, coverage begins 1993

Free Resources

Congressional Documents Online from Rutgers Law - Full-text archive of selected documents of the United States Congress from the collection of the Rutgers - Camden School of Law. Hearings and Committee Prints included in this online collection date from the 1970's to 1999. Rutgers is still adding materials from their print collection.

GovInfo - selected hearings from 1947, full coverage from 1985.

Library of Congress American Memory Project - Selected coverage from 1833-1917.