Where to find federal legislative information that is being introduced and passed by the federal governments can seem to be difficult, especially if you want to find it by subject and you do not know the bill names or numbers. So let 1776 American Empowered show you a few ways to find what you are looking for and see just how far the items have passed. At the bottom of our page, we give you the link to access your state legislation as these are handled differently.
It is fairly simple to find items that are in our federal legislature by category or subject as long as you know how the legislators look at the item.
- First, go to Congress.gov. This is a good area to start in and because they want (or claim to) have things available to the public, they post everything here. On the top right-hand side of the page are the Search options.
- Click on House or Senate and you will see all the Representatives and or Senators that listed bills and how many they did during the chosen Congressional Year – which you can choose on the bottom left.
Here we chose the House and it brought this up by alphabetical order of the legislator. You can choose the name or pick the first letter of the name to narrow the field.
That will give you general information, but if you want specific legislation by topic, click on the word legislation at the top of the screen. This not only will open up all the legislation, but also will open up a search bar allowing you to put into it your search word criteria.
Now choose a word on a subject of interest. Let’s use firearms as an example. When we enter it into the search bar, the page will bring up on the screen all the legislation with that word contained in it.
Notice that there are over 6,000 entries. To make sure you get only the items you are looking for, you can add some filters (look along the side) to let you cull through all the entries. It also lets you do a sort at the top right.
You can choose Congressional Record at the top of the page to get a daily item by item that took place in the house or the Senate.
There is really only one good way to find out how your representative or senator voted on a piece of legislation. The first thing you need is the legislation number or name. Select the number and bring it up. If you then go to the “Actions” tab and select it. Then look at the roll call and select it.
As you can see, some say yes, some say nay, and some do not vote at all.
Occasionally, if you go to your legislator, it will show his or her recent votes, but this is not consistent. It is better to pick the votes by the law number or name and then go into the actions on the specific item and look at the roll records.
For more information you can also go to USA.gov
If you wish to find information out about your state legislature, go to https://www.congress.gov/state-legislature-websites and click on your state. These are each set up a bit differently, but you should be able to find how the bills are being introduced and passed within your state.