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Legislative Branch


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CQ Electronic Library (Sage/CQ Press)
Includes a variety of resources for research in American government, politics, history, public policy, and current affairs, particularly CQ Weekly, Congress and the Nation, CQ Researcher and Voting and Elections Collection.

  • CQWeekly (from 1983-) provides searching by topic, page number, committee, "exact phrases or words," bill number, byline or reporter and by Boolean full-text and date searches. Detailed floor votes dating back to August 1983 are easily retrieved.
  • CQ Researcher Plus Archive (currently 1945-2004) - chronicles and provides analysis of legislative activity for each Congress. Provides a narrative of events on a particular issue in a specific Congress.
  • CQ Voting & Elections Collection (Sage/CQ Press) - Organized into six categories of presidential elections, congressional elections, gubernatorial elections, campaigns and elections, political parties and voters and demographics generally covering from 1789 to the present. Includes candidate and office histories, seat status and competition, special elections, maps, bibliographies, encyclopedic information, chronology, definitions and sources and web links. Supports scholarly research in political science, particularly American Government, campaigns and elections, Congress, the presidency, and American history.
  • CQ Almanac - Coverage and analysis of U.S. Congressional legislation updated annually, covers from 1945, the 79th Congress, 1st session, to the current Congressional session.  Volumes can be searched using keywords or concepts across all years, Congresses and sessions, in a table of contents format by year, Congress and session or by pre-arranged topics within years or by decade.  The Policy Tracker feature allows users to follow vital legislative coverage over years and decades. The Series Appendix includes tables, charts and articles about floor votes, excerpted presidential messages, interest group ratings, public laws by year and Congress and floor voting participation tables, key vote tables and overviews. CQ Almanac Online is a good resource to accompany the popular CQ Press Voting and Elections collection.

National Journal
National Journal Group's Policy Central includes campuses-wide access to National Journal online, The Hotline, CongressionalDaily, Technology Daily and The Almanac of American Politics.

ProQuest Central (also indexes The Washington Post)
Vast aggregated full-text database

Lexis Nexis Academic (also indexes The Washington Post)
Provides full-text access to a wide range of news (national, international, regional, business, legal, and foreign language), business (company financial news and information, accounting, auditing & tax information, industry and market news), and legal (law reviews, federal case law, state legal research) sources. It also features news transcripts, the U.S. Code, Constitution & Court rules, state and country profiles, medical abstracts, and reference & directory sources.

JSTOR
A searchable and browsable archive of full-text core journals in the humanities, social sciences and mathematics. 

Worldwide Political Science Abstracts - WPSA (ProQuest)
This database provides abstracts and indexing of the international literature of political science and international relations, along with complementary fields, including international law and public administration/policy. The database provides abstracts of journal articles and citations to book reviews drawn from over 1,500+ serials publications and also provides abstracts of books, book chapters, dissertations and working papers. The database is simultaneously searchable with other ProQuest databases such as ProQuest Newspapers.

Opposing Viewpoints Resources in Context
Access information on social issues through viewpoint articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, links to web sites and full-text magazine and newspaper articles.

OpinionArchives
Provides an accessible and invaluable source of information of electronic archives to leading journals of opinion. Search the full text of over 740 years of archives including Harpers Magazine, The New Republic, The Nation, Commentary, NACLA, Commonweal, American Spectator, National Review and The New York Review of Books. An invaluable resource, providing in-depth analysis of topics such as the cold war, the Arab-Israeli conflict, American foreign policy, defense, the Supreme Court, affirmative action, welfare, crime, immigration, religion, education, art, literature, militarism, human rights violations, environmental destruction, classical music, and much more.

PAIS International (ProQuest)
The PAIS International database contains references to more than 460,000 journal articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference reports, publications of international agencies, microfiche, Internet material, and more. Newspapers and newsletters are not indexed.

Congressional (Proquest)
Provides access to every facet of U.S. Legislative activity: hearings transcripts and submitted testimony, committee reports, bills, public laws, congressional member public interest group ratings, selected committee prints, congressional documents, the Congressional Record, the Federal Register, the Code of Federal Regulations, and the U.S. Code.

U.S. Congressional Serial Set, 1817 – 1994
Reports, documents and journals of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives from the 15th Congress through the 103rd Congress. The collection covers a wide range of subjects ranging from the Lewis and Clarke Expedition to the Three Mile Island nuclear accident and it includes approximately 56,000 maps. Documents of the first 14 U.S. Congresses can be found in the American State Papers collection.

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Specific Capitol Hill news sources

The Hill -a congressional newspaper that publishes daily when Congress is in session.  with a special focus on business and lobbying, political campaigns and other events on Capitol Hill. The newspaper features investigative reporting, profiles of lawmakers and aides, features describing the sociology and politics of the Hill, book and restaurant reviews and a weekly column about the Capitol Hill neighborhoods.

Politics Daily, now HUFFPOSTPOLITICS - the site offers coverage of politics, media, business, world news and blogs and original content.

Politico.com  - an American political journalism organization based in Arlington, Virginia, that distributes its content via television, the Internet, newspaper, and radio. Its coverage of Washington, D.C., includes the U.S. Congress, lobbying, media and the Presidency.

The U.S. Congress Votes Database - from The Washington Post
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House and Senate links

Thomas -from The Library of Congress  - (legislative information called Thomas, in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson) - searches a broad range of legislative informatin including bills, resolutions, Congressional record (101st Congress, 1989-1990 to present), committee reports and other links to Congressional information from official and non-official sources. (Scheduled to be replaced by beta.congress.gov some time in 2013).

Congressional Glossary - Definitions of words used in the legislative process.

Congressional Hearings - meeting or session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress, usually open to the public, to obtain information and opinions on proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate/oversee the activities of a government department or the implementation of a Federal law.

  • Congressional (Proquest) - Provides access to every facet of U.S. Legislative activity: hearings transcripts and submitted testimony, committee reports, bills, public laws, congressional member public interest group ratings, selected committee prints, congressional documents, the Congressional Record, the Federal Register, the Code of Federal Regulations, and the U.S. Code.

United States House of Representatives - includes finding your representative search, directory of representatives, house leadership, committee information and members, subcommittees, recent legislation of 112th Congress to 110th Congress, recent legislative activity, the House explained and House history.  Hearings can also be searched under individual committees.

United States Senate - includes find your senator search, directory of senators, senatorial statistical information such as senate service records, phone list, committees (standing, special, select, joint and other), committee assignment by senator, legislation and records, Senate art and history.  Hearings can also be searched under individual committees.

OpenCongress - a free, open-source, not-for-profit, and non-partisan public resource website  for researching and tracking a bill, a Member of Congress, or an issue area,links to relevant news and blog coverage for every bill and Member, can follow developments by subscribing to a variety of customized RSS feeds.

  • Money in Politics - OpenCongress  - this section is about the role of money in politics. Data on campaign contributions is provided by the non-partisan resources OpenSecrets and MAPLight.

GovTrack.us - information shown on this site is assembled in an automated way from official government websites (primarily from the website THOMAS, the official website for the status of legislation run by the Library of Congress).  according to GovTrack.us you can search and browse bills going back to the 103rd Congress (1993-94), though the text of legislation goes back only as far as the 106th Congress (1999-2000). Roll call votes are available back to the start of our nation.

Congress.org - search bills by keyword to find current legislation or select a topic from a list of current related legislative bills for each subject.  Congress.org is a nonpartisan news and information Web site devoted to encouraging civic participation.

Fdsys- Federal Digital System from U.S. Government Printing Office - Provides public access to the following collections: Compilation of Presidential Documents (1993 to Present), Congressional Bills (103rd Congress to Present), Congressional Documents (104th Congress to Present), Congressional Hearings (105th Congress to Present), Congressional Record (1994 to Present), Congressional Reports (104th Congress to Present), Federal Register (1994 to Present) and Public and Private Laws (104th Congress to Present).

MapLight U.S. Congress: Research Guide - MapLight connects money and votes. We bring together, in one website, the money given to politicians with each politician's votes.

WashingtonWatch.com - delivers the numbers behind proposed legislation and regulation. WashingtonWatch.com feels that it is important to understand where these numbers come from and what they mean.  Figures on WashingtonWatch.com attempt to reveal the relative size and significance of proposals.
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Congressional Record

Congress to year conversion - provides years associated with a particular Congress

Thomas -from The Library of Congress -
- Issues are available online from 1989 (the 101st Congress) to the present.

-Each daily issue consists of four parts: House of Representatives, Senate, Extensions of Remarks (text not actually part of floor activity but inserted later) and Daily Digest (a summary of the day's activities in both chambers).
- Each part is paginated separately and continuously for each session of Congress. Page numbers are preceded by single letters designating the part: H for House, S for Senate, E for Extensions, D for Daily Digest (e.g., S2987, H14990, E19, D2339). 
- After the end of each session, a permanent final version of the record is prepared. In this version, the pagination is continuous, without any section designations, and there is some editing and re-arrangement. Congressional Record files on THOMAS represent the daily edition, not the final.

- Before 1873, records of congressional proceedings were kept under various titles: Annals of Congress, Register of Debates and Congressional Globe. These may be browsed in the Century of Lawmaking collection in American Memory.

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation, U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates - Beginning with the Continental Congress in 1774 includes Congressional Record, Bills and Resolutions, Statutes at Large, U.S. Serial Set and congressional proceedings were kept under previous titles: Annals of Congress, Register of Debates and Congressional Globe.

HeinOnline - legal database providing fully-searchable and image-based text of over 500 law journals, the Congressional Record (1873-2008) and Congressional Record Daily (1980-pres.), a Federal Register Collection and Code of Federal Regulations, United States Code, U.S., U.S. Statutes at Large, Supreme Court Library, reports and Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (1965-2009), hearings and the  HeinOnline Federal Legislative History Library.

Congressional (Proquest)
Provides access to every facet of U.S. Legislative activity: hearings transcripts and submitted testimony, committee reports, bills, public laws, congressional member public interest group ratings, selected committee prints, congressional documents, the Congressional Record, the Federal Register, the Code of Federal Regulations, and the U.S. Code.

Congressional Record app information -
iPad app
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The President's Budget

About the Budget of the United States Government

Office of Management and Budget  - (OMB) - assists the president in the creation of the president's budget by gathering data from agencies and compiling it into the final plan to be approved by the president.

  • Fiscal year 2013 Budget 
  • Historical tables  -provides data on budget receipts, outlays, surpluses or deficits, Federal debt, and Federal employment over an extended time period, generally from 1940 or earlier to 2012 or 2016.

Congressional Budget Office  -(CBO) – has mandate to provide the Congress with objective, nonpartisan, and timely analyses to aid in economic and budgetary decisions on the wide array of programs covered by the federal budget -and the information and estimates required for the Congressional budget process.  CBO provides up-to-date data on its Web site, including current budget and economic projections and information on the status of discretionary appropriations.

U.S.Census Bureau: The 2012 Statistical Abstract   - authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States.

Economic Report of the President -  annual report written by the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. It overviews the nation's economic progress using text and extensive data appendices. The Economic Report of the President is transmitted to Congress no later than ten days after the submission of the Budget of the United States Government.

U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) - independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.

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Polling Information

Topic guide listing selected polling databases and Internet sources
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Library Tips & Guides

Tips & guides to learn about scholarly journals, evaluating your sources, tutorials and creating bibliographies.
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Citing & Evaluating Research

Citing your resources: print  and electronic style guides and evaluating web sites and other information sources.
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Journal Finder

Search for a journal or browse journals by title
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mstein Merrill Stein
Team Leader - Assessment and Liaison Team Leader for Geography and Political Science
Falvey Library, Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova , PA , 19085
Room 221
610-519-4272


Merrill Stein is the subject librarian for Political Science (Department Webpage) and is available for research consultations, instruction, curricular support & purchase requests.
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Some recent research guides:

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Last Modified: Monday, July 28th, 2014