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ProQuest Congressional Publications: Congressional Basic Content

ProQuest Congressional offers access to congressional publications dealing with the wide variety of topics addressed by Congress.

Congressional Basic Content List

ProQuest Congressional basic subscription provides access to the following sources:

  • Index and abstracts for congressional committee documents, prints, reports and published hearings, 1970-present
  • Legislative histories, 1969-present
  • Committee hearings selected transcripts and full-text statements, 1988-present
  • Committee prints selected full text, 1993-2004
  • Committee reports full text, 1990-present
  • House and Senate documents (electronic versions) full text, 1995-present
  • GAO report abstracts and PDFs, 2004-present
  • Congressional Record daily edition, 1985-present
  • Bill texts and tracking, 1989-present
  • Public law texts, 1988-present
  • U.S. Code
  • Code of Federal Regulations, 1981-present
  • Federal Register, 1980-present
  • Campaign finance data, 1987-present
  • Key votes data, 1987-present
  • Member financial disclosures, profiles, and voting records
  • Political news, including Washington Post news, 1987-present; and Roll Call, 1998-present
  • Committee rosters and schedules

Historical indexes include:

  • CIS U.S. Serial Set Index (1789-1969)
  • CIS U.S. Congressional Hearings Index (1834-1969)
  • CIS Unpublished House Committee Hearings Index (1833-1972)
  • CIS Unpublished Senate Committee Hearings Index (1824-1984)
  • CIS U.S. Congressional Committee Prints Index (1830-1969)
  • CIS U.S. Senate Executive Documents & Reports Index (1817-1969)

Institutions with access to ProQuest Congressional optional digital modules will access the enhanced digital version of records to which they have access, rather than the index-only version.

Legislative Histories


  • 1999-present: all laws; robust
  • 1984-1998: major laws; robust
  • 1969-83: all laws;
  • Compiled following CIS standards 
  • Full indexing to facilitate searching 
  • Cites all related publications going back to the last enactment of a law

Legislative histories can be long documents and include the enacted bill, related Bills, links to the Congressional Record, Hearings, Senate/House Reports, Committee Prints, and descriptors. You can navigate to each section of the Legislative History using the Left Navigation box for "Document Segments". There will be hyperlinks to the online documents- either the full text of the bill, law or reference to the Daily Congressional Record, if it is available online, or an abstract giving you locator information for the print or microfiche.

Search for Legislative Histories using the ADVANCED search page and LIMIT TO: "Legislative Histories", or filter your results to include Legislative Histories.

Hearings on Congressional Basic


ProQuest Congressional Basic provides abstracts and indexing for all hearings from 1970 to present. The BASIC search performs a search of the abstracts and indexing for hearings.

The "Retrieve Selected Testimony" feature offers access to witnesses' written statements and selected hearing transcripts from 1988 to the present, provided by various third parties who cover Capitol Hill. An optional module, the CIS Historical Indexes, provides brief content summaries, indexing, and witness lists for hearings from 1789-1969. Because there is no requirement that congressional committees publish hearings, some hearing transcripts are transferred to the National Archives where Senate hearings remain for at least 20 years and House hearings for 30 years. Hearings that are not published due to national security concerns may remain sealed in the National Archives for up to 50 years before they become accessible to the public. The indexes in Congressional provide information about these unpublished hearings, as well as recent hearings that have not been published yet ("pre-published" hearings). It can take up to two years for the GPO to print some hearings.

To search the FULL TEXT of these selected hearing transcripts you must start from the ADVANCED search screen and use the pull-down menu to select "ALL FIELDS INCLUDING FULL TEXT".

Daily Congressional Record

The Congressional Record contains the proceedings and debates of Congress, and is an excellent source for debates on a particular topic and for statements by specific speakers. The daily edition reports each day’s proceedings in Congress and is published on the succeeding day.

You can search the Daily Congressional Record for examples of when a particular member of Congress spoke on a particular topic using the ADVANCED search form (See the arrows in thescreen shot above.)

You can search for the the activity for a particular day Congress is in session by using the Restrict by Date field (no search term is necessary if you have Limited to: Congressional Record Daily Edition. You can also retreive a particular page using this selection. You can also do this from the SEARCH BY NUMBER page.

Bill tracking

BILL TRACKING – tracks actions

Bill-tracking reports follow a bill’s movement through the legislative system and the parliamentary maneuvering that takes place. Bill tracking reports, updated daily when Congress is in session, cover all bills from 1989 to the present. You can link from the bill tracking report to the full text of the bill, the public law, congressional committee reports, Congressional Record sections about the bill, and voting records.

Bill tracking reports may be quite lengthy and detailed. For bills that were not signed into law, these are the way to track where the bill was sent and what may have happened.

Reports and Committee Prints


The Congressional Basic service abstracts and indexes Congressional reports on public and private legislation considered during each Congress. You can search the abstracts and indexing for keywords using the BASIC search form. To search the FULL TEXT for reports available online in plain text (HTML) use the ADVANCED search form and select "ALL FIELDS INCLUDING FULL TEXT." Limit to or filter to include House & Senate Reports.


Committee Prints are known as working papers for Congress. Some prints are a compilation of materials on the topic. Other examples of prints includes journal articles, CRS reports on legislation and more. You can search the abtracts and indexing of committee prints for keywords using the BASIC search form. To search the FULL TEXT for prints available online in plain text (HTML) use the ADVANCED search form and select "ALL FIELDS INCLUDING FULL TEXT." Limit to or filter to include Committee Prints.

House & Senate Documents

House and Senate documents are the class of publications issued by congressional committees or the full House or Senate that are numbered with the designation H. Doc. or S. Doc. This publication type can contain: Presidential messages proposing new legislation or vetoing legislation passed by Congress; special reports of executive branch agencies; congressional committee activity reports; committee-sponsored special studies and background information published as official documents rather than committee prints; annual reports of certain patriotic and veterans groups; memorial tributes; and compilations of background information related to annual intercollegiate and high school debate topics.

House and Senate documents are included in the Serial Set.

Senate treaty documents are issued by the Senate when the President asks them to ratify a treaty. They generally contain the text of the Presidential communication supporting ratification of the treaty and the text of the treaty agreement itself.

Until 1991, treaty document content was issued in executive documents lettered sequentially within each session of Congress (e.g., Exec. Doc. A, 91-1). Executive documents with a lettered identification system were not included in the Serial Set until 1979 (96th Congress). Beginning in 1981, the executive document type of publication for treaty materials was replaced by the Senate treaty document publication type and included in the Serial Set. Senate treaty documents are numbered consecutively within each Congress (e.g., Treaty Doc. 99-1).

Once the President submits a treaty to the Senate for ratification, the treaty stays alive and carries the same publication number, regardless of the Congress, until it is ratified, defeated, or withdrawn.

The majority of the treaty documents concern treaties with foreign governments, but until 1870 they also included treaties with Indian tribes.

Until 1930, the Senate executive document content, including Presidential messages regarding treaties and nominations, were confidential. Originally non-confidential documents on executive branch matters that were included in the Serial Set were also classified as Senate executive documents, but beginning in 1895 the Serial Set executive branch documents were included in the broader Senate documents category.

The Serial Set also includes House executive documents from 1846-1895.

These highlights indicate what's covered as part of the basic subscription:

  • Abstracts and indexing for all documents published from 1989 (101st Congress) forward
  • Abstracts and indexing for most documents from 1970 through 1988 (documents excluded for this period include executive branch, housekeeping, and ceremonial documents)
  • Full text for most documents from 1995-present

Indexing for pre-1970 content is available through the optional Congressional Indexes historical module. (The full text of pre-1970 content included in the Serial Set is available through the U.S. Serial Set Digital Collection.)

ProQuest Congressional also makes available annotated indexing for Senate executive documents (treaty documents) issued from 1825-1969 through the optional historical indexes module.

You can search the abtracts and indexing for keywords using the BASIC search form. To search the FULL TEXT for House and Senate Documents available online in plain text (HTML) use the ADVANCED search form and select "ALL FIELDS INCLUDING FULL TEXT." Limit to or filter to include House & Senate Documents.

Members & Committees

Using the Members and Committees search page, users can find information on specific members of congress or specific committees. The Demographics search form allows users to create groupings of like members.

Demographics form allows users to create listings of members of each Congress from 1985-present (searched sepately for each Congress) using keywords or pre-selected categories.

Committees search form allows users to find the compostion of committees, ranking members, address, URL and more. Committees and subcommittees are listed separately, and the committee schedules can be searched.

Note: The Member look-up links only cover the 105th Congress (1997)-present although we have Member & Committee information as far back as 1987 for most categories. See the Content Coverage chart for more information.

Political News

Information   Coverage Update schedule Source
CQ Political Transcripts 1995-current Daily Congressional Quarterly
Roll Call 1998-current Monday and Thursday while Congress is in session (Monday only when in recess) Roll Call Inc.
Washington Post 1987-current Daily Washington Post

The Congressional Basic Subscription contains political news to keep you informed and to search for what news-makers are saying about legislation, Congress, and the issues that Congress is tackling. Your search results will allow you to sort by date and filter by source.

CQ Political Transcripts includes a variety of articles relating to Congress and legislation, including:

  • Background Briefing
  • Media Availability
  • News Briefing
  • News Conference
  • News Event
  • News Program
  • Press Briefing
  • Press Conference
  • Speech