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Government Documents Research Guides

Definitions

Definitions:  Hearings, Committee Prints, Reports, and Documents

Hearings

“A hearing is a meeting or session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress, usually open to the public, to obtain information and opinions on proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate/oversee the activities of a government department or the implementation of a Federal law. In addition, hearings may also be purely exploratory in nature, providing testimony and data about topics of current interest. Most congressional hearings are published two months to two years after they are held.”

Committee Prints

“Congressional committee prints are publications issued by congressional committees on topics related to their legislative or research activities. The subjects of the committee prints vary greatly, due to the different concerns and actions of each individual committee. Some basic varieties of committee prints include: draft reports and bills, directories, statistical materials, investigative reports, historical reports, situational studies, confidential staff reports, hearings, and legislative analyses.”

Congressional Reports

“Congressional reports originate from congressional committees and deal with proposed legislation and issues under investigation. There are two types of 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.”

Congressional Documents

“The Congressional Documents collection consists of House Documents, Senate Documents, and Senate Treaty Documents. House and Senate documents contain various kinds of materials ordered to be printed by both chambers of Congress. Documents can include reports of executive departments and agencies, as well as committee prints, that were ordered to be printed as documents. Senate Treaty Documents contain the text of a treaty as it is submitted to the U. S. Senate for ratification by the President of the United States.”

Above quotes taken from FDsys, GPO's Federal Digital System.

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