As a result of a congressional mandate requiring that federal legislative information be made available at no cost, the Library of Congress (LOC) unveiled the THOMAS system in January 1995. THOMAS contains a vast amount of information, including:
- Bills and Resolutions -- You can search bill text with a simple language query or by bill number back to 1989. Try this search here. You can also search bill summary and status information (sponsors, cosponsors, etc.) back to 1973 and get copies of legislation. If you want to search across multiple congresses for bill language (e.g., to find similar legislation as introduced in different sessions of Congress) try this search. Or, if you are interested in just those measures that became public law, and know the public law number, try this.
- House and Senate Roll Call Votes -- You can search for House roll call votes for all years since 1990 and Senate roll call votes for years since 1989. Search both here.
- Bill sponsorship and co-sponsorship Information -- This data is available back to 1973. For the current Congress, search here. For prior Congresses, here.
- Congressional Record -- You can search the full text version of the Congressional Record or the Congressional Record Index.
- Committee Reports -- You can search committee reports for years since 1995 here.
For descriptions of all the searches you can conduct with THOMAS try this page. For information on recent updates to the THOMAS search engine go the Library of Congress website here. Follow LOC's Thomas specific feed (@THOMASdotgov) on Twitter here.