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From the Library of Congress Magazine [LC 1.18:2013/2] March/April 2013 issue:
The Law Library and CRS, working with the Library’s web services experts, maintain THOMAS, the Internet-accessible database that makes legislative information-bills, resolutions, treaties and the Congressional Record-available to Congress and the public., a beta website operated jointly by the Library of Congress, the House, the Senate and the other legislative branch sources, provides the same information through mobile devices and eventually will replace THOMAS. The Law Library responds to all queries related to THOMAS and the beta site.
“Since the launch of the public legislative information system known as THOMAS in 1995, Congress has relied on the Library to make the work of Congress available to the public in a coherent, comprehensive way,” said Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) at the September 2012 launch of the beta site. “The Library staff has a strong working relationship with the House, Senate and the Government Printing Office, which will enable the Library to successfully develop the next generation legislative information website.” p.22 of the same issue a feature titled Find Legislation in Congress.Gov by Kimberly Ferguson, a specialist in legislative information systems in the Congressional Research Service, has further details about this new site:

CONGRESS.GOV IS A NEW PUBLIC BETA WEBSITE for accessing free, fact-based legislative information. The site, which was launched on Sept. 19, 2012, was developed by the Library of Congress in collaboration with the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives and the Government Printing Office. eventually will replace the legislative information system once all the data from the legacy system has been fully migrated to the new system. debuted with congressional member profiles and major actions, summaries and full texts of bills (2001-present). The Congressional Record-transcripts of the proceedings and debates of the U.S. Congress-and Congressional Budget Office cost estimates were added this January. Additional information will be added approximately quarterly.


Search by bill number, member of Congress, committee, subject term, word or phrase.  The search results provide key information about the bill, such as a tracker to show how far a bill has progressed in the legislative process.  Bill numbers link to even more information, such as bill summaries and texts, major actions, titles, amendments, cosponsors and committees.  You can also the finding aids on the homepage, if you don’t know the bill number.  These include: most-viewed bills, bills introduced in the current Congress, laws enacted, active legislation and a list of current appropriations.  A series of videos that explain the legislative process is available at

Help with a search is available at and at

-Shared with you by Lori Gwinett, Government Documents Librarian


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