Sample Searches (5)
The following sample searches are provided as guides to general types of searches in the public laws databases. They are performed in the public laws 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.
Whenever you enter a query, make sure that you deselect any default settings that may interfere with your search. The public laws search page automatically defaults to the current session of Congress.
This type of search returns public laws that are related to a specific subject. The word(s) that you enter as your search term(s) may appear anywhere within the document.
This type of search returns public laws based on their number. The phrase "public law" should not be abbreviated. Moreover, the entire query should be enclosed in quotation marks for the most accurate results.
This type of search returns public laws based on Statutes at Large citations. A Statutes at Large citation includes the volume number, the abbreviation "stat," and the number of that particular law as assigned in the Statutes at Large. Volumes 109 and 110 of the Statutes at Large contain the laws from the 104th Congress, volumes 111 and 112 contain the laws from the 105th Congress, and so on. The entire query should be enclosed in quotation marks for the most accurate results.
This type of search returns public laws based on United States Code citations. A U.S. Code citation includes a title number, the abbreviation "usc," and a section number. The entire query should be enclosed in quotation marks for the most accurate results.
The use of truncation in the query will return subsections from the U.S. Code, as well as full sections. For example, the query "7 usc 511*" could return documents with citations such as "7 usc 511a," "7 usc 511b," and so on.
This type of search returns public laws based on bill number. The bill number may be typed with or without punctuation. If no punctuation is used, you must leave a space between the h and the r for bills in the House.
In the list that displays your query results, the title of each public law is preceded by an identification code. The identification code contains two elements: a database abbreviation and the public or private law number. For example, in the listing "Pub.L. 105-276 Making appropriations for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and," "Pub.L." stands for public laws, "105-276" is the public law number, and "Making appropriations for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and" are the initial words of the title. Private laws are denoted by "Pvt.L." or "P.R."