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Congressional Hearings: About

A hearing is a 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. In addition, hearings may also be purely exploratory in nature, providing testimony and data about topics of current interest. Most congressional hearings are published two months to two years after they are held.

NOTE: Not all congressional hearings are available on GPO Access. Whether or not a hearing is disseminated on GPO Access depends on the committee.

GPO Access contains contain selected House and Senate hearings for the 105th Congress (1997-98) forward. The House and Senate appropriations hearings for fiscal year 1998 are included.

Documents are available as ASCII text and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files. Graphics, including scanned images of camera ready copy are omitted from the ASCII text version but are contained in the PDF files.

Catalogs are available for the 105th Congress to the present. Links are included with each congressional hearing listed in the catalog, which retrieve the text of the corresponding document as an ASCII text or PDF file. GPO Access continues to add hearings irregularly as they become available during each session of Congress. If a congressional hearing is not listed in the catalog, it is not available electronically via GPO Access at this time.