The following sample searches are provided as guides to popular types of searches in the Congressional Bills databases. They are performed in the Congressional Bills database for the 105th Congress. For the sake of space, only the top three hits in each results list are included with each example below.
1. Search by Subject
This type of search returns bills that are related to a specific subject. The word(s) that you enter as your search term(s) may appear anywhere within the document.
2. Search by Bill Number
This type of search returns bills that contain a given bill number. The returned documents may be bills that bear the number you have entered as a query, or they may reference the bill number in their title or text, as in a regular subject search.
The above query returns bills that bear the number "H.R. 2" and bills that make reference to H.R. 2. The order of returned documents is determined by relevance ranking, not by chronology; this ranking accounts for the appearance of a reported bill before an engrossed bill and the listing of a House resolution that makes reference to a bill before the bill itself.
To view a catalog of Congressional bills available via GPO Access, click on the "submit" button on the search page without having entered any query terms and then select the appropriate document from the results list. A catalog will be retrieved for any Congress (i.e., 106th Congress, 105th Congress, etc.) that is highlighted on the search page.
In the list that displays your query results, each bill is displayed with the bill number and the initial words of the bill's name. The specific version of the bill is identified by the abbreviation in parentheses that follows the bill number; the explanation of this abbreviation appears in brackets following the name of the bill. For example, in the entry "H.R. 5 (ih) To amend the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act," "H.R. 5" is the bill number, and "(ih)" is the code that indicates this version of the bill was introduced in the House. A list of the abbreviations used to identify different versions of the same bill follows the sample searches below.