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Michigan State University

Social Work Policy: Federal Government Documents

In-depth guide to policy information sources

Federal Legislation

Key Resources for Federal Legislative Documents

  • ProQuest Congressional
    A broad range of Congressional information is provided including bill tracking, Committee reports, House and Senate documents, Member financial disclosures, campaign finance data, and bill texts. The full text of the National Journal is also included, as is a searchable version of CIS/Index, the key indexing & abstracting source for legislative information since 1970.
  • Congress.gov (formerly THOMAS)
    Congress.gov is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information.
    • FDsys
      The Federal Digital System (FDsys) is a service of the Government Printing Office and provides free electronic access to government publications.

The U.S. Congress

  • United States Senate
    This link goes directly to the section of the Senate website listing current legislation.

Finding Aids for...

  • Bills
    Bills are the first step in the legislative process.  They do not have the force of law until enacted.  Many bills never become laws.

  • Bill Tracking and Legislative Histories
    After being introduced in the House or Senate, a bill is assigned to a House and/or Senate committee or subcommittee for consideration and further action.

U.S. Federal Executive Branch Documents

Presidential Documents

  • Compilation of Presidential Documents
    The Compilation of Presidential Documents collection consists of the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents and the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents which are the official publications of materials released by the White House Press Secretary. 
    Note: use the FDsys Advanced Search to search within this collection (the link is preset for searching directly within the Compilation of Presidential Documents collection).
  • Budget of the United States Government
    A collection of documents that contains the budget message of the President, information about the President's budget proposals for a given fiscal year, and other budgetary publications that have been issued throughout the fiscal year. Other budget items, such as related publications and supporting materials, are included, which may vary from year to year.
  • Whitehouse.gov
    Search and view press releases and other presidential documents for the current administration.

Regulatory Documents

  • Finding Aid for Administrative Law
    Many laws enacted by Congress require agencies to issue regulations. Executive branch agencies are granted the power to implement regulations relating to matters within their jurisdiction.
  • Federal Register
    The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.  (Also available in FDsys to search or browse)
  • Code of Federal Regulations
    The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) annual edition is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. (Also available from Cornell)

U.S. Federal Judicial Branch Documents

Judicial Branch

  • U.S. Courts
    Starting place for information about the federal courts.  Link to specific courts.
  • Supreme Court Yearbook
    The Supreme Court Yearbook has provided valuable in-depth coverage and analysis of every decision from the nation's highest court since the 1989-1990 term.
  • Supreme Court
    From the Cornell Legal Institute.  Read decisions.
  • LexisNexis Academic
    Look up U.S. federal and state cases, landmark cases, supreme court briefs.
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