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Government Information Connection: Politics and Elected Officials: Tracking Federal Legislation in Congress

Information about politicians and their activities; elections, campaigns, and voting; and political activism.

Tracking Federal Legislation in Congress

Understanding how a bill becomes a law (the legislative process) is the first step in tracking legislation. 

Summaries of the Legislative Process

How Laws are Made and How to Research Them resource on how laws, regulations, and executive orders are made and how to look them up.

Enactment of a Law
A detailed account of the legislative process by the Parliamentarian of the U.S. Senate.
How Laws Are Made
A charmingly illustrated tutorial for schoolchildren on how a proposed bill moves through Congress.
How Our Laws Are Made
An exhaustive (and sometimes exhausting) account of the law-making process, from the origin of a bill to its enactment into law. Written by the Parliamentarian of the House of Representatives.
I'm Just a Bill
The legislative process summarized for children in a song and animated cartoon from Schoolhouse Rock. Lyrics
Legislative History Process
Resources from Georgetown Law School for researching each step of the legislative history process.
The Legislative Process
Concise description of 13 steps to a bill's becoming law.

Specific Aspects of the Legislative Process

Following is a collection of Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that detail aspects of the legislative process. CRS reports are updated regularly so newer versions may be available. Search the Congressional Research Service database for additional reports. 

The Committee System in the U.S. Congress
Congressional Research Service report on how Congress uses committees to accomplish its work.

Conference Committee and Related Procedures: An Introduction 
Congressional Research Service report on House and Senate procedures for reaching agreement on legislation.

House and Senate Rules of Procedure: A Comparison 
This Congressional Research Report compares selected House and Senate rules of procedure for various stages of the legislative process: referral of legislation to committees; scheduling and calling up measures; and floor consideration. No attempt is made to present a comprehensive discussion of how both chambers operate. The appendices provide sources of additional information about House and Senate rules of procedure.

How Measures are Brought to the House Floor: A Brief Introduction 
This Congressional Research Service report provides a brief description of the methods used to bring proposed legislation to the House floor for consideration. These methods allow for consideration as a privileged matter, under the limited privilege of a special calendar or day, under suspension of the rules, under the terms of a special rule, or by unanimous consent. (2017 edition)

Introduction to the Legislative Process 
A Congressional Research Service report explaining the legislative process.


Access to government organizations at all levels. These links connect to non-UNT resources. 

Tracking and Influencing Current Legislation

Definitions of Legislative Terms


Additional Links