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History of Bills

Last updated on 06-14-2022

History of Bills, 1983 to Present

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About the History of Bills

What is the History of Bills?

The History of Bills lists legislative actions on bills that are reported in the Congressional Record, which has been published since 1873. In print it is part of the Congressional Record Index, the monthly publication from the Joint Committee on Printing, but on govinfo it is a separate collection.

A typical entry includes a bill number, title, summary, names of sponsors and cosponsors, and a chronological list of actions on the bill. Each action references a Congressional Record page number and the date when the action was reported in the format "S5798 [9JN]" (page 5798 in the Senate section from the June 9 issue for that year).

What’s Available?

  • govinfo contains the History of Bills from 1983 to the present. Each volume of the Congressional Record Index is cumulative from the beginning of each congressional session. The current year's collection is updated daily, usually the day after publication of the Congressional Record.

Searching the History of Bills

You can find and search within the History of Bills by:

  • Using Basic Search for keyword and metadata fielded searches,
  • Using Advanced Search; fields specific to the History of Bills will display after you select History of Bills in the Refine by Collection column,
  • Refining search results by clicking on links in the Refine Your Search panel on the left hand side of the page (the sections under Refine Your Search correspond to the metadata available for the documents), and
  • Browsing the History of Bills browse page.

General govinfo Search Tips

Search Examples

Search by Congress Number and Chamber – For example, House of Representatives bills from the 110th congress.

  • Using Basic Search,enter: collection:hob congress:110 chamber:house
  • Using Advanced Search, select History of Bills under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Congress Number from the first box and enter 110 in the next box; then click + Additional Criteria and select Chamber from the next box and select house from the final box

Search by Keywords – For example, the keywords “national” and “parks.”

  • Using Basic Search,enter: national parks collection:hob 
  • Using Advanced Search, select History of Bills under Refine by Collection, then under Search In enter national parks in the second text box

Search by Bill Number – For example, H.R. 2070 as the bill number.

  • Using Basic Search,enter: collection:hob billscitation:"H.R. 2070"
  • Using Advanced Search, select History of Bills under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Bill Number Citation from the first box and enter H.R. 2070  in the next box

Search by Public Law Number – For example, Public Law 100-103 as the public law number.

  • Using Basic Search,enter: collection:hob plawcitation:"Public Law 100-103"
  • Using Advanced Search, select History of Bills under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Public or Private Law from the first box and enter Public Law 100-103 in the next box

Search by Sponsor – For example, Boxer as the sponsor.

  • Using Basic Search, enter: collection:hob sponsor:boxer
  • Using Advanced Search, select History of Bills under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Sponsor from the first box and enter boxer in the next box

Search by Cosponsor – For example, Boxer as the cosponsor.

  • Using Basic Search,enter: collection:hob cosponsor:boxer
  • Using Advanced Search, select History of Bills under Refine by Collection, then under Search In select Cosponsor from the first box and enter boxer in the next box

Sample History of Bills URLs

govinfo uses two key pieces of information to construct predictable URLs to documents and Details pages.

  • The Granule ID for the History of Bills is used to identify the specific document within an issue of the publication.
  • The Package ID is used to identify an entire issue of the publication.


Structure/Metadata Field


Package ID



Granule ID

{Package ID}-{Bill Type}{Bill Number}



Bill Type values are hr (House Bills), hconres (House Concurrent Resolutions), hjres (House Joint Resolutions), hres (House Simple Resolutions), s (Senate Bills), sres (Senate Simple Resolutions), sconres (Senate Concurrent Resolutions, sjres (Senate Joint Resolutions).




Details Page for an Entire Issue



HTML File for an Entire Issue



Details Page for an Individual Document



HTML File for an Individual Document



History of Bills Metadata Fields and Values

Metadata fields and values can be used to increase the relevancy of your searches. The metadata fields available for the Code of Federal Regulations are listed in the table below. Metadata fields and values are used throughout govinfo for

  • Narrowing Your Search,
  • Browsing Government Publications,
  • Field Operators,
  • Advanced Search, and
  • Display on Details Pages.

Metadata fields and values can be entered into the Basic Search box using field operators. The field operators available for the Federal Register are listed in the table below, along with examples for each metadata field. Using Field Operators

Some of these metadata fields are made available for use in Advanced Search. The metadata values can be entered in the same format for the fields available on the Advanced Search Page. Using Advanced Search

Metadata Field Display Name

Metadata Field Definition

Field Operator

Field Operator Example


The collection to which the document belongs. Typically the same as the publication or series.




"hob” is used for History of Bills

Government Author

The names of the Government organizations responsible for authoring or assembling the document.


governmentauthor:"joint committee on printing"

Publication Date

The date the document was first made available to the public.




Date format is YYYY-MM-DD


The language code of the original document, from the ISO639-2b standard.



SuDoc Class Number

The SuDoc class number from the U.S. Superintendent of Documents which classifies Government publications by publishing agency.


sudocclass:"X 1.1/A:"


The SuDoc Class Numbers in govinfo are generally at the class stem level, not the book number level.

Ingestion Date

The date the document was ingested into the preservation repository.




Date format is YYYY-MM-DD

Electronic Location (URL)

The URL where the document or the document in context (the content detail page) is located.





The government organization who publishes the document or publication. Not typically the Government Publishing Office (who serves as the printer and distributor), except in the case of Congressional publications.


publisher:"u.s. government printing office"


The branch of Government responsible for the document's contents.




Possible Values: executive, legislative, judicial

Type of Resource

The media type for the document, typically "text". Defined as part of the Library of Congress MODS standard.



WAIS Database Name

The name of the WAIS database to which the document belonged in the former GPO Access system.



Record Origin

How the record was originally generated. Typically "machine generated."


recordorigin:"machine generated"


The title of the document or article as published. For serials, will contain the name of the larger publication (for example "Federal Register") as well as the name of the individual article (for example, "Consolidation of the Fruit Fly Regulations").


title:"make corrections in the comprehensive anti-apartheid act of 1986"

Congress Number

The number of the Congress responsible for the document. Congresses last for two years, so for example, the 110th Congress was in session from 2007 through 2008.



Congress Session

The session of congress that produced the document.




Possible Values: 1, 2

Chamber of Congress

The chamber of congress that produced the document.




Possible Values: house, senate


The sponsor of the bill or resolution.




A cosponsor of the bill or resolution.



Congress Member

The sponsor and cosponsors if the bill or resolution.




The GPO standard method for searching citation references from the selected publication.


citation:"h.r. 1222"

Bill Number Citation

The bill or resolution number. For example, "H.R. 132" or "H. Con. Res. 187".


billscitation:"h.r. 1234"

Public or Private Law Citation

Citation references to Public or Private Laws. For example, "Public Law 110-32" or "Private Law 110-3".


plawcitation:"public law 108-330"


Last Legislative Action

The most recent action taken on a bill.



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