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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Legislative History (federal & state): Bills

A guide to finding state and federal legislative documents and performing legislative history research.

Bill Tracking & Bill Summaries

Bill Tracking information can include: sponsor(s); cosponsor(s); official, short and popular titles, floor/executive actions, Congressional Record page references, summary of the bill's language, committee information, amendment information, and subject matter of the bill.

Bill Summaries are included with every bill on located in the first tab.


Upon introduction of a bill or resolution in the House or Senate, legislative analysts in the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress write a short summary that objectively describes the measure's significant provisions. Introduced version summaries are subject to length limitations as a matter of policy.

Each summary description identifies the date and version of the measure, and indicates whether there have been amendments: e.g., Passed House amended (07/19/2013).

News: Top Ten Bills

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What is a bill?

A bill is a draft of a proposed law introduced in the House of Representatives or the Senate.  

Finding a bill by citation:

Bills are numbered sequentially as introduced in each chamber during a session of congress.  The bill number alone is meaningless unless you also know what congress it came from.

H.R. for House bills, H. Res. for House Resolutions, S. for Senate bills, etc.

Example:   H.R.5 [114th] Student Success Act