Introduction of a bill into Congress is the first step of the formal legislative process.
After a bill is introduced, it is assigned a bill number, printed, and referred to a committee.
Bills are frequently amended throughout the legislative process and may be printed several times before they are finally passed.
Comparing the various versions of a bill as it moved throughout the legislative process may help in determining the intended meaning of the law. Arguments regarding the meaning of a statutory section may be drawn based on the inclusion, deletion, or modification of language in the text of the bill. Note, too, that the bill number is one of the keys to tracing legislative history.
~Source: UCONN Meskill Law Library
Use the following sources to find the full text of bills in the current Congress:
CQ provides analysis of select legislation that includes a summary, background, and outlook. To find analysis on a bill, login to CQ Federal and click on Research > Bills > Bill Analysis.
Compare two bills or two versions of a bill and generate a report that displays the differences between the bills, either inline or side-by-side. To generate a bill comparison report, login to CQ Federal and click on Research > Bills > Create a Report > Bill Comparison. Select the Congress, bill number, and bill version for each bill. To select a bill number, enter either S (for Senate) or HR (for House) and the bill number (e.g., HR7440).