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U.S. Congressional Serial Set: Reading Serial Set Citations

How to Read Serial Set Citations

Numbering for Documents

Documents include official communications, treaties, and some non-governmental material that Congress has authorized to be in printed in order to help members make informed decisions on legislation.  Numbering for documents is H. (House) or S. (Senate), Doc. (Document), number of Congress, number of Document.  For example:

     S. Doc. 104-9 "Semiannual Report of the Architect of the Capitol" is a Senate Document from the 104th Congress numbered 9.

Numbering for Reports

Reports are attached to bills that are approved by committees explaining section by section their recommendataion.  They are usually in-depth publications on the legislative and budgetary impact of a particular bill.  They are important in determining the "legislative intent" of a law.  Numbering for reports is the chamber (House/H. or Senate/S.), Rpt. (Report), number of Congress, number of document.  For example:

     H.Rept. 110-54 "Maritime Pollution Prevention Act of 2007" is a House Report from the 110th Congress numbered 54.  

Numbering for Treaty Documents

Treaties are numbered in a similar way with Treaty, Doc. (Document), number of Congress, number of Document.  For example,

       Treaty Doc. 109-18 "Protocol Amending Tax Convention with Finland" is a Treaty from the 109th Congress numbered 18.  

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