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How to Research Federal Legislative History

Through this introductory lesson, students will learn how federal laws are made and about the federal legislative process. Students will also learn about the various types of documents that are created as a proposed bill works its way through Congress. These documents comprise the legislative history of an enacted law.
Additionally, this lesson teaches students how to research a statute's federal legislative history, including how to use free websites and paid services. The last part of the lesson walks students through two hypotheticals on legislative history.

Learning Outcomes
On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:
1. Discuss federal legislative history of a statute or Act codified in the United States Code that refers to the documents created at each stage of the legislative process.
2. Identify some of the documents that comprise legislative history.
3. Explain how a bill that is introduced in Congress becomes enacted law.

Lesson Completion Time

1 hour
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Lesson Authors

Lesson ID

LWR14