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Comparing LIS and Thomas

The Congressional Research Service has published an update to its handy guide for finding current legislation and regulations:

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:

LIS THOMAS
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.

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