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How to . . .   find bill numbers

You need a bill or public law number to check the status or request a copy of legislation.  Numbers consist of an alphabetic abbreviation (for the branch of Congress that originated the legislation, and the bill type), plus a unique number.  The Key to Legislative Citations provides examples.  

There are several Internet-based resources to help you find bill and public law numbers:

THOMAS  provides legislative information back to the 93rd Congress (1973) by sponsor and cosponsor, committee, word or phrase, subject term, stage in the legislative process, and date of introduction. You may also browse lists of bills by Congress.

Active Legislation is a list of bills that have been receiving legislative or media attention. Bills are listed alphabetically by popular title or general subject.  The list is updated weekly when the Senate is in session.

The Senate Calendar of Business and the Congressional Record, which are published daily when the Senate is in session, are useful for identifying current legislation.  These resources list bills currently under consideration or pending on the Senate floor.  

If you need further assistance identifying a bill or law number contact your Senator or call LEGIS at 202-225-1772.

How to find copies of bills


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

Follow this guide on how to contact your Senators by phone, postal mail, or on the Web.

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.