The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress.
It is a comprehensive and authoritative reference source that provides a written account of everything said on the floor of the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as a record of all bills, resolutions, and other legislative actions.
The Congressional Record began publication in 1873 and is published daily when either house of Congress is in session. The Government Publishing Office is responsible for the production and distribution of the Congressional Record.
Each edition consists of four sections:
- The House section, which includes a record of the proceedings and debates in the House of Representatives.
- The Senate section, which includes a record of the proceedings and debates in the Senate.
- The Extensions of Remarks section, which allows Members of Congress to make additional comments or include material that was not part of the floor proceedings. This section is often used to honor constituents, recognize events, or express opinions on legislation.
- The Daily Digest, which summarizes the day’s activities in both chambers, including committee meetings.
The Congressional Record is an important tool for transparency and accountability in the legislative process.
It provides a public record of what each Member of Congress has said and how they have voted, allowing constituents and researchers to track their representatives’ activities and positions on issues.
However, it’s worth noting it is not a verbatim transcript of what is said on the floor.
Members have the opportunity to revise and extend their remarks before they are published in the Congressional Record, meaning they can edit their speeches or add additional material.
While this practice allows for greater clarity and completeness, it also means that the Congressional Record may not always reflect the spontaneity of live debate.
The publication has been available online from 1994.
Use of “Congressional Record” in a sentence:
- Senator Martin’s impassioned speech on climate change can be found in the Congressional Record, demonstrating her strong commitment to environmental issues.
- To understand the legislative history of the bill, researchers often turn to the Congressional Record, which provides detailed accounts of the debates and amendments proposed during its passage.
- While researching for his political science thesis, John spent hours examining the Congressional Record to track the voting patterns of key legislators on healthcare reform bills.