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The legislative history of a bill is a record of its course through Congress. Each step during passage is documented. Once a bill is passed it becomes a law. The yellow tab above entitled "Tracing a Bill" describes this process in greater detail.

The page "Indexes to Legislative History," accessible via the yellow tabs above, describes the publications and online resources that serve as indexes to the entire legislative history of a bill.

If you need a brief refresher course on the law making process, please consult this helpful guide  LC Thomas: From a Bill to a Law.

For more information on how to trace a bill, consult:

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If you need further assistance, please contact the Government Publications Office, (401) 874-2606. If the office is closed, please consult the Info & Research Help Desk, at (401) 874-2653. You may also contact me, the government publications subject specialist at (401) 874-4610 or

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Deborah Mongeau's picture
Deborah Mongeau
University Libraries

Public Services Department

phone: (401) 874-4610

Created & Revised by

K.S. Nilsen, 2/72;

L. Browning/M. Newell/A. Shaw, 1/76;

A. Shaw, 9/76;

T. Reynolds, 2/79;

D. Mongeau, 6/91, 3/98, 6/04, 5/06;

H. Posey, 3/10

A. Loffredio, 12/12

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