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History of Bills: About

The History of Bills lists legislative actions on bills that are reported in the Congressional Record, which has been published since 1874. In print, it is part of the Congressional Record Index, the biweekly publication from the Joint Committee on Printing, but on GPO Access it is a separate application.

GPO Access contains the History of Bills from 1983 to the present. Databases are cumulative from the beginning of each congressional session. The current year’s database is updated daily, usually the day after publication of the Congressional Record. Documents are available as ASCII text files only.

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).