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Legislative History Research: Committee Reports

What are Committee Reports?

Committee reports are the most important part of legislative history. The are the legislative committee's report on the bill, and are often the best source for finding legislative intent. Committee reports are prepared by members of the committee to express the committee's opinions on the bill.

Conference Reports come out of the conference committee, where members of both houses meet to create a compromise bill. Comparing the compromise bill with the original bills can help you understand intent.

Committee Prints are documents prepared for the members of the committee by Congressional staff. Therefore, they can be harder to find.


Use Bluebook Rule 13.4 to cite Reports, Documents, and Committee Prints.

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 - Committee Prints in US Congressional Documents database. Hein also has the US Congressional Serial Set, which has documents from 1817-2017 and American State Papers, which has documents from 1789-1838.

Lexis Committee Reports and Federal Legislative Bill History

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 - U.S. Code Congressional & Administrative News: Congressional Committee Reports

Free Resources