The Congressional Research Service has published an update to its handy guide for finding current legislation and regulations:
- Researching Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff. by Jerry W. Mansfield, Congressional Research Service, RL33895 (August 31, 2012). Available from Federation of American Scientists.
For those experienced in legislative and regulatory searching there won’t be anything new or surprising here, but it is a handy introduction and reference.
One thing I particularly liked was the comparison on p. 13 of the “Legislative Information System,” which provides access to legislative information to Members of Congress and their staff, and THOMAS, which makes information on federal legislation freely available to the public. That’s right, one system for Congress and a separate system for us ordinary folk.
Here is a sample:
|Best used for Finding the most complete legislative information||Best used for Working with constituents|
|Links from Bill Summary & Status display to CRS reports||No CRS reports|
|Links to Capitol Hill and selected outside sources of floor and committee schedule information.||Minimal links|
|Special advanced search capabilities||Advanced search capabilities only in Bill Summary & Status database|
Again, this won’t be news to most of you, but it is a nice summary of what we are missing.