What does it mean to be in the Congressional Record?

What does it mean to be in the Congressional Record?

The Congressional Record is the official record of the United States Congress's activities and debates. When Congress is in session, it is published every day. The Congressional Record first appeared in 1873 and is still in print today. It is available online through an agreement with the National Archives.

A congressional office may place a brief statement about an event or issue before the House or Senate. These "closed" proceedings are included in the Congressional Record. There are also "open" proceedings, which are not included in the Congressional Record but are made part of the official record of Congress by law. For example, all hearings before Congress are open proceedings unless they are closed by order of the committee conducting the hearing.

Also, when a member speaks on the floor of either house, the text of his or her speech is recorded in the Congressional Record. Finally, when a vote is taken on any measure or resolution, the roll call vote is recorded in the Congressional Record. This is important evidence for researchers who want to know how members voted on issues before them.

In addition to these types of events, the Congressional Record also includes extensive transcripts of speeches given by leaders of both parties, reports from congressional committees, and other matters of interest to readers of Congress magazine.

Members of Congress often read articles from the Congressional Record into the official record of Congress.

How often is the Congressional Record published?

The Congressional Record is a record of Congress's proceedings. When one or both chambers of Congress are in session, it is published daily and available the next morning. When Congress is not in session, the record is published within seven days of a congressional action that is also recorded in the Senate or House Journal.

What is covered by the Congressional Record? The Congressional Record covers all matters before Congress from opening day until adjournment day, except votes on legislation (which are recorded in the journal). Thus, the record includes all speeches made in Congress, testimony given at Congressional hearings, reports issued by committees of Congress, communications between Congress and the President or their representatives, proclamations issued by the President, etc.

Who publishes the Congressional Record? Press editions are prepared by the United States Capitol Guide staff and printed by the Superintendent of Documents. These include the complete text of all debates and proceedings in both the House and Senate, as well as records of most executive branch agencies. Agencies may choose to place additional materials in the Congressional Record. For example, when the House passes a resolution honoring someone, this resolution is added to the record.

Why should I care about the Congressional Record? The Congressional Record is your source for information on what Congress has done and said during its sessions.

What is included in the Congressional Record?

The Congressional Record is a nearly exact transcript of senators' and representatives' statements made on the floor of the Senate and House of Representatives. It also contains all proposed legislation, resolutions, and motions, as well as discussions and roll call votes. The Congressional Globe is a compilation of information about Congress found in the Congressional Record.

The Congressional Record is published daily by the Library of Congress. An index to it is available online at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-DATA/index.html. For access to the Congressional Record, visit the Library of Congress website.

The first session of Congress was held from March 4, 1789, to April 7, 1789. The first speech in the Congressional Record was given by Senator Samuel Johnston of Georgia. He spoke on the subject of establishing a national university. The last speech in the Congressional Record was given by Representative Daniel Hiester of Illinois who spoke on the subject of slavery. It was voted down by the House of Representatives.

There have been more than 10,000 speeches made in the Congressional Record since its creation in 1856.

Is the Congressional Record available to the public?

The Rules and Laws for the Publication of the Congressional Record are issued on a regular basis and are accessible in PDF and Text formats. The United States Government Online Bookstore sells several Congressional Record goods. These include printed books, CDs, and DVDs.

Is the Congressional Record part of the Constitution?

History. The Constitution mandates Congress to preserve a journal of its activities under Article I, Section 5, albeit the House and Senate Journals are independent publications from the Congressional Record and feature just a minimal record of acts and votes, rather than entire transcripts of the debates. The Congressional Record was the first to be published...

When is the Congressional Record printed each day?

The proceedings of each day while Congress is in session are printed in the Congressional Record (CR) and made available the following morning. By 10:00 a.m., new daily concerns, as well as reporting business from the previous day if either the House or Senate, or both, met, are generally accessible. Older material may not be available online immediately after the close of business on Friday.

A copy of today's CR can be found on the Public Information Office (PIO) website at www.house.gov/publicinfo and www.senate.gov/publicinfo. These websites also provide access to other materials related to Congress, such as legislative history, reports from congressional committees, etc.

You can search the Daily CR for bills, resolutions, and other matters before Congress using an automated service called "Congress.gov". You will need to know which day of the week or month the vote(s) you're looking for took place on. Then simply enter those dates into the search box on the site.

For example, to find all votes taken on January 3rd-10th you would enter "01/03/2013 01/10/2013". The vote results appear immediately below the date range you entered.

About Article Author

David Brunswick

David Brunswick is a journalism teacher who has been in the field for over ten years. He has been teaching people how to report news accurately and ethically for over five years. He loves his job because he gets to help people learn and grow while doing what he loves most!

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