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Mary Ries
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Phone: 614-688-8770

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Legislative Branch

The Legislative Branch is charged with making and altering laws that govern the United States, instituting taxes, appropriating funds to run the federal government, approving Presidential appoints, approving treaties, and declaring War.  At the federal level, Congress is the legislative branch and consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate.   Within each chamber there are various committees and subcommittees which carry out the day to day work of each chamber. 


Some useful resources specific to the Legislative Branch are:

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress 1774-2005:  The continental Congress, September 5, 1774, to October 21, 1788, and the Congress of the United States, from the First through the One Hundred Eighth Congresses, March 4, 1789, to January 3, 2005, Inclusive.  United States. Congress.  Washington, D.C.:  U.S.  Government Printing Office, 2005.  Biographical information on United States Congresses 1774- .  Arranged by congressional session, etc.

CONGRESS.GOV. (Library of Congress)  Full text of congressional publications including bills, resolutions, bill summaries, etc. via the Library of Congress.  Coverage from the 101st(1989) through current Congress for bills, resolutions, or roll call votes of the House or Senate.  Legislation can be browsed by sponsor, and Public Law searched by law number from the 93rd (1973) through the current Congress.  It is possible to search full text of bills across multiple congresses from the 101st on.

Congressional Biographical Directory.  Biographical information about members of Congress from 1774 – present.  Searchable by name, position, party, etc.

Congressional Committee Prints. (U.S. Government Publishing Office)  Publications issued by congressional committees that include topics related to their legislative or research activities, as well as other matters such as memorial tributes from the 102nd Congress (1991-92) to the current Congress.  Some basic categories are: draft reports and bills, directories, statistical materials, investigative reports, historical reports, situational studies, confidential staff reports, hearings, and legislative analyses.  Although the committee prints do not have a consistent numbering system or publication history, they are arranged by House, Joint or Senate committee and then by committee, etc.

Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Provides information about committee membership and members, legislative activities, lobbying disclosure documents, etc.

ProQuest Congressional (OhioLINK membership required for access).  Information about Congress, including member biographies, committee assignments, voting records, financial data, and the full-text of key regulatory and statutory resources.

United States House of Representatives.  Access to information on bills, committee hearings, etc., for the United States House of Representatives.

United States Senate.  Access to committee hearings, legislation, etc., for United States Senate.


Heimler’s History – Congress:  The Senate and the House of Representatives. (YouTube)

Heimler’s History - Structures, Powers, and Functions of Congress. (YouTube)


Further Reading

Legislative History Research:  A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff.  Julia Taylor.  Washington, D.C.:  Congressional Research Service, August 16, 2013.