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SWO 5322 & SWO 4322 Social Policy for Social Work Practice: Tracing Legislation

How a bill becomes a law (ProQuest)

Congressional Bill (example)

Abbreviations for types of legislative documents or Congressional Bills

H.R.                 House Bill

S.                     Senate Bill

H.J.Res.           House Joint Resolution

S.J.Res.           Senate Joint Resolution

H.Con.Res.      House Concurrent Resolution

S.Con.Res.      Senate Concurrent Resolution

H.Res.             House Simple Resolution

S.Res.             Senate Simple Resolution

Finding Congressional Bills

Finding Congressional Hearings

Slip Law

Once a law is signed by the President, it is assigned a public law number and issued in print as a "slip law."

"Pub.L' is the abbreviation for "Public Law"

Ex: "105-276" is a public law number

Citation Example: Pub.L. 105-176

U.S. Statutes at Large

The Statutes at Large is the permanent collection of all laws and resolutions enacted during each session of Congress.


At the end of each session of Congress, slip laws are compiled into bound volumes called the Statutes at Large, and they are known as "session laws." The Statutes at Large present a chronological arrangement of the laws in the exact order that they have been enacted.

A Statutes at Large citation includes the volume number, the abbreviation "stat," and the number of that particular law as assigned in the Statutes at Large.

Citation example: 112 stat 3280

U.S. Code

"The United States Code is the codification by subject matter of the general and permanent laws of the United States.

The U.S. Code was first published in 1926. The next main edition was published in 1934, and subsequent main editions have been published every six years since 1934. In between editions, annual cumulative supplements are published in order to present the most current information."

A U.S. Code citation includes a title number, the abbreviation "USC" or "U.S.C." and a section number.

Citation example: 31 USC 511

Regulatory Publications

Databases & Websites

Congressional Record

"The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings, debates, and activities of Congress. Although the Record contains a substantially verbatim account of the proceedings and debate, it also contains extensive inserted materials, communications from the President and executive agencies, memorials, and petitions."

University Libraries

One Bear Place #97148
Waco, TX 76798-7148

(254) 710-6702