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How to . . .   find committee hearings

Published hearing transcripts contain all witness testimony, the question-and-answer portion of the hearing, and any other material requested of the witness by the committee. It takes several months, or even years, for a hearing to be published. Unlike most other congressional documents, hearings are not available from the Senate or House Document Rooms. You may be able to locate a hearing from the Government Printing Office, from a committee Web site, or from a federal depository library.

Web Access

Many committees post witness testimony on their Web sites shortly after a hearing takes place.  However, the transcripts are generally the prepared statements submitted by each witness, so they will not contain the question-and-answer portion. You can find committee Web pages through the main Senate and House Web sites and on THOMAS. Most committees organize their hearing transcripts by date, and sometimes by subcommittee. Generally, testimony is only available for witnesses who submitted their statements electronically.

A limited number of published hearings since 1995 are available in full text on the Government Printing Office (GPO) Web site.


Published hearings may be available in a federal depository library.  The federal depository library program is made up of over 1,300 libraries that collect government documents and make them available to the public for borrowing or reading. A list of depository libraries is on the GPO Web site. Most depository libraries are within a university or state library, so sometimes borrowing privileges are restricted.

Purchasing from GPO

Published hearings may be available for sale from the Government Printing Office (GPO), although it is often difficult to locate them in GPO's Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.  More information is available from GPO by calling 202-512-1800 or writing to the Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954.


For information on the Senate, Congress, the legislative process and the federal government, the Virtual Reference Desk is a good place to begin.

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Historical information provided by the Senate Historical Office.

Compilations of Law links to the full text of several popular acts of law as they have been amended over the years.