Skip to main content

What is Congress Doing Now?: Home

How can you keep up-to-date with policy issues? What does Congress have planned for today, this week, next month? What happened in recent sessions of Congress? This guide will give you the tools necessary to keep up with both Senate and House activities.

Introduction to this Guide

Tracking the workings of Congress is fairly easy to do. Congressional Calendars are updated daily and identify bills and resolutions awaiting floor action, special situations to be addressed, and any unfinished or pending business.

The Congressional Record comes out each government business day and is the proceedings of the House and Senate. It may include legislative activity by committees, member remarks, communications from the President.

"A hearing is a meeting or session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress, usually open to the public, to obtain information and opinions on proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate/oversee the activities of a government department or the implementation of a Federal law. In addition, hearings may also be purely exploratory in nature, providing testimony and data about topics of current interest. Most congressional hearings are published two months to two years after they are held." --GPO.

There are many types of hearings including legislative hearings, oversight hearings, investigative hearings, and confirmation hearings.

Bill and issue tracking services abound. We have suggested some of the more popular ones.

 

Congressional Calendars

Congressional Record

Congressional Hearings

Congressional hearings are published in print and online at the discretion of their respective committees. Not all hearings are readily available online. We recommend that you check govinfo.gov first, but if that fails, check ProQuest Congressional.

Hearings are eventually published by the Government Publishing Office. Those are the ones that appear in digitally authenticated format in govinfo.gov. But before they are typeset and published by GPO, commercial transcribers sit in the hearings and transcribe them. These transcriptions can often be found in ProQuest Congressional. They will only be in text format, no tables, drawings, submitted materials, etc.

Legislative Histories

Bill Tracking, Bill Text, and Votes

Subject Guide