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Note: Check the date the bill was introduced. If you're trying to track current legislation, make sure the bill was introduced in this session, this year. (Sessions are two years long.) If it's from a previous year or session, it is likely "dead."
Check political news and blogs for information on upcoming legislation and policy.
Researching the Bill
Congressional bills generate a lot of documents, such as committee markups, budget estimates, hearings, etc. You can learn a lot from them.
Search news sources for coverage of the bill, the names of the politicians sponsoring the bill, public reaction to the bill, etc.
Search by the bill name ("Affordable Care Act"), number (H.R. 3590), or any popular terms used to refer to the bill ("Obamacare")
Look for news coverage of and opinion about the social problem the bill seeks to address (i.e., "uninsured")
Look out for the names of interest groups, professional associations, or think tanks in these sources. Search for and visit their sites to find their take on proposed legislation and policy issues. Keep an eye out for organizational bias, and consider opinions from different groups (i.e., U.S. Chamber of Commerce vs. insurers' perspectives on the Affordable Care Act employer mandate.)
For federal legislation, check for a Congressional Research Service report at everycrsreport.com (not really every report), which allows you to browse by category or ProQuest Congressional, which has a deeper archive. The CRS is non partisan and creates research reports for members of Congress on just about everything. (CRS reports are only sometimes made available to the public through official channels.)
Reports on topical public issues. Our content ends after June 30, 2019.
CQ Researcher Plus Archive contains reports on current issues. Each report covers a single topic drawn from a wide range of social, economic, political, and environmental issues. Reports provide overview and background information as well as a pro/con section on a particular aspect of the topic and a bibliography.