University of 
Michigan Documents Center


A Guide for Class Assignments Beginning with 103rd Congress, 1993

Frames Index | Non-Frames Edition

Quick Jumps:

Calendars | Citations | Hearings | Internet Sites | Jurisdiction
Markups | Membership | Press Releases | Reports | Votes |
Citations | Legislative Histories | Lobby Group Influence
Member Information | Public Opinion

Return to Documents Center

Last updated on June 11, 2001

Committee Jurisdiction

Committee Membership

Web Sources

      • Member directory lists committee assignments
      • Committee directory lists subcommittee assignments
      • Most updated source available

    • Congressional Yellow Book
      • Most current directory of Congress available
      • Brief biographies of Congressmen and great detail on legislative staff assignments in Washington and in their respective districts
      • Directories of committees and subcommittees with similar detail on their legislative staffs
      • Congressional YellowBook is searchable on its own or in conjunction with the Federal, State, Municipal, Associations, and NonProfit sector books
      • Can search by location, industry, name, or personal characteristics (job title, degree, alma mater)

    • Congressional Committees (GPO Access)
      • Separate Senate and House directories provide a grid with links to the
        • Committee web site
        • Committee membership
        • Hearings and reports published on the GPO web site
        • Committee jurisdiction
        • Committee rules
      • House of Representatives
      • Senate

    • Congressional Universe (UMich Only)
      • Current committee and subcommittee membership
      • Updated as needed

    • Contacting Congress (Juan Cabanela)
      • Committee and subcommittee assignments provide links to the phone, fax, district office, e-mail address, and biography of individual members
      • Nothing less than heroic

Historical Sources

    • Congressional Committee Assignments, 1995/96 (UMich) [Web]
      • Committee and subcommittee assignments
      • Also available for the 103rd Congress

    • Congressional Yellow Book [Library]
      • Committee and subcommittee addresses, members, and staff
      • Doc.Cen. JK 1083 .C75-Ref. with older issues in stacks

    • Official Congressional Directory (GPO)
      • Committee and subcommittee memberships and staff
      • Searchable but not browsable
      • Index retrieves section of book rather than specific information
      • Updated once per year in September so may be outdated at the beginning of a new Congress

Committee Calendars

    • Congressional Universe (U Mich Only)
      • Current meetings, hearings, and markups appear under Members and Committees
      • Historic calendars are searchable as Committee Prints since the 1980s under Congressional Publications

Current Calendars

Committee Hearings/Prints/Reports

Description | Hearings
Historical Sources | Reports

    • Types of Publications

      • Hearings are testimony before committees
      • Committee prints are research reports with background information
      • Reports are primarily recommendations by committees on the passage of a bill
      • Documents are communications from the Executive Branch
      • Calendars - see Committee Information

Committee Hearings

    • Congressional Universe (UMich Only) [Web]
      • Indexes committee publications: hearings (1970+), prints (1993+), and reports (1989+)
      • Published Hearings accessed through Congressional Publications
        • Hearings indexed by subject, keyword, committee, date, and person testifying
        • Advanced Search Strategies option under keyword searching permits numerous proximity indicators
          • w/p (words within paragraph); w/n (words within a number; w/s (words within sentence)
          • Example: china w/10 (world trade organization or most favored nation)
          • Additional protocols at bottom of keyword searching page
        • Record provides summary of testimony, Superintendent of Documents Number for the Documents Center's paper copy, microfiche number for the Documents Center's microfiche, and a link to selected full text testimony since 1988
      • Testimony provides the full text of selected testimony and prepared witness statements
        • Indexed by committee, person testifying, date, and keyword
        • More current than the Published Hearings
        • Published Hearings have much more material
      • See Congressional Universe Research Guide or Congressional Universe Quick Guide for further details

    • Congressional Hearings via GPO Access
      • Selected hearings beginning 1995 also available free to the public via the Government Printing Office
      • Arranged by committee; no index
      • Text and pdf formats

    • Congressional Hearings on the Web
      • Lists government agencies and Congressional committees with selected testimony on the web

    • Internet Search Engines
      • Political Information
        • Search for hearings mounted by government web sites as well as those of individuals and interest groups
        • Sample search: medicare and +testimony and +hearing
      • Google's Uncle Sam
        • Indexes text of government web sites
        • Sample search: medicare and testimony and hearing
        • You will retrieve at least some false drops, including the legislative status on THOMAS and hearings announcements


    • Congressional Universe (UMich Only)
      • Carries the full text of committee reports, 1989+
      • Indexes the paper/microfiche copy of reports since 1970
      • Both searches located under Congressional Publications

    • Thomas
      • Full text of committee reports since 1995
      • Searchable by keyword, bill number, report number, and committee
      • Reports segmented into easily viewable segments
      • Links to the full text of the legislation in question and legislative status

Historical Sources

    • Indexes

    • Full Text
      • Congressional Universe (UMich Only)

      • Hearings and Committee Prints (Printed)
        • Through 1972, check Documents Center catalog by committee and title for Library of Congress call number; some call numbers may be in Buhr
        • For 1973-80, check Documents Center catalog for SUDOCS call number; all should be in Buhr
        • For 1981-88, check Mirlyn under call number to see if available in Buhr or microfiche should be used
        • 1989+ should be in Documents Center arranged by SUDOCS number

      • Reports and Documents (Printed)
        • Last three years in Documents Center
        • Older issues in Serial Set; 1-7914 in Buhr; 7915+ in stacks on 6 South/West End
        • Use CIS Serial Set Index, 1789-1969 (Doc.Cen. Z 1223 .Z7 C764-Ref.) and Numerical Lists, 1970+ (Doc. Cen. Z 1223 .A5-Ref) to identify bound volume numbers
        • Description of the Serial Set and its history
        • American State Papers, 1789-1817 (J 33) has the earliest reports

      • Legislative Archives (NARA)
        • Guide to unpublished legislative and Congressional committee documents beginning 1789
        • Instructions for obtaining the material from the National Archives

Committee Internet Sites [Web]

Committee Markups and Votes

    • Definitions
      • Markups are committee meetings held after the hearings to make changes in a bill and make recommendations to the floor about its passage
      • Votes are taken among committee members to determine whether the bill should be referred to the floor for consideration
      • Reports are issued if the committee determines to recommend the bill
      • Markup sessions are covered primarily by the press rather than official government reporters

    • Academic Universe
      • Provides transcripts and summaries of markups
      • Found under News/Transcripts
      • The specific file is FDCH Political Transcripts but it is better to search all transcripts; include the word markup as a keyword
      • Search will include some false drops; look for term MARKS UP in search results

    • National Journal Markup Reports (UMich Only)
      • Full text of committee discussions and votes
      • In Congressional Universe since September 1999
      • From the main screen, go to Inside Washington/Committee Markups
      • Searchable by committee, date, bill number, and keyword

    • Print sources: [Library]
      • The text of markups often appears in the printed hearings of the House Agriculture and Foreign Affairs/International Relations committees
      • Votes occasionally appear in the House and Senate Reports submitted on bills

Committee Press Releases [Web]

Citation Guides[Web and Library]

    • Guides for citing government documents
    • Guides for citing electronic resources

Political Process

    • Legislation is a highly political process, despite this logical outline
    • Public Policy Matrix is a chart summarizing the legislative process and sources for political information about the process

Navigation Map

Grace York, Coordinator, Documents Center
The University of Michigan Library
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