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About Congressional Reports

Congressional reports originate from congressional committees and deal with proposed legislation and issues under investigation. FDsys contains House, Senate, conference and executive reports from the 104th Congress (1995-96) forward. The collection for the current Congress is updated irregularly, as electronic versions of the documents become available. Congressional reports, along with Congressional documents, are part of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, commonly referred to as the Serial Set. Reports are available as ASCII text and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

 

There are three types of reports:

  • House and Senate Reports

  • Senate Executive Reports

  • Conference Reports

House and Senate Reports

Reports of congressional committees concerning proposed legislation and/or contain findings on matters under investigation.

Senate Executive Reports

Reports of the Committee on Foreign Relations relating to Treaties between the United States and foreign nations, which have been submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification, or are reports of various Senate Committees regarding nomination of individuals.  

Conference Reports

From the earliest days, differences on legislation between the House and Senate have been committed to conference committees to work out a settlement. The most usual case is that in which a bill passes one Chamber with amendments unacceptable to the other. In such a case, the Chamber that disagrees to the amendments generally asks for a conference, and the Speaker of the House and the Presiding Officer of the Senate appoint the “managers,” as the conferees are called. Generally, they are selected from the committee or committees having charge of the bill.

 

After attempting to resolve the points in disagreement, the conference committee issues a report to each Chamber. If the report is accepted by both Chambers, the bill is then enrolled and sent to the President. If the report is rejected by either Chamber, the matter in disagreement comes up for disposition anew as if there had been no conference. Unless all differences between the two Houses are resolved, the bill fails. (From “Our American Government”, H. Doc. 108-94, p. 34)

A conference report is an agreement on legislation that is negotiated between the House and Senate via conference committees. It is printed and submitted to each chamber for its consideration, such as approval or disapproval.

 

An amendment to Rule XXVIII of the Standing Rules of the Senate states:

"9. (a)(1) It shall not be in order to vote on the adoption of a report of a committee of conference unless such report has been available to Members and to the general public for at least 48 hours before such vote. If a point of order is sustained under this paragraph, then the conference report shall be set aside."

 

Normally, conference reports are printed and made available online in the Congressional Record the day after they have been filed. In those cases when GPO is unable to print a conference report the next day, GPO will scan the manuscript and post the searchable PDF of the manuscript on this web page. Otherwise, links to the conference reports as they appear in the Congressional Record will be posted on this web page.

 

Links to each conference report will be date and time stamped to establish when the conference report was first made available to the public online. If a conference report is scanned as manuscript, that version will be superseded when the conference report is made available in the Congressional Record. Links to a conference report in the Congressional Record will be superseded when the conference report is made available in the congressional reports database.

 

Although the PDF of the scanned manuscript of a conference report will be searchable, handwritten notes or other illegible text may or may not be completely searchable. Regardless, the image of the handwritten notes, etc., will be captured in the PDF of the scanned manuscript.

 

 

 

 

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