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Advanced Search - Help

Enter or select search terms from one or more sections of the advanced search form. Search terms from different sections are combined with an AND operator.

Congress

Use the checkboxes to select one or more Congresses to search. Click on More to see the full list of available Congresses. If you do not choose a Congress, your search will be run against the current Congress. You can search across all available Congresses (93rd to present) by checking the All since 1973 box. View a list of Congresses and their corresponding years.

Legislation and Law Numbers

Bill, resolution and amendment numbers include an alphabetical prefix and a number. Committee reports include an alphabetical prefix, Congress number and report number. Public laws include an alphabetical prefix, Congress number and law number.

To search, enter the prefix and number with or without spaces and periods, and in upper or lowercase. See Search by Number (Citation) for a complete list of acceptable formats and examples. Multiple bill, resolution, amendment, and public law numbers may be entered on the search page by separating numbers with a comma.

Words and Phrases

Enter keywords or phrases in the search box using search operators as needed. By default, all summaries and titles are searched. Use the controls found above the search box to change the scope of your search.

Controls for turning off Word Variants and turning on Case Sensitive searching are below the search box.

While legislative actions can be searched from Words and Phrases, click on the Jump to actions text search link to go to the Search in Actions/Status Text section to take advantage of additional search options specific to actions text searching.

Legislation Types

All legislation types are searched by default. Click on the checkbox next to a type to unselect it and remove it from your search. Use the All House, All Senate, and All Legislation checkboxes to add or remove a group of legislation types with one click.

Select Check only legislation that can become law to search only bills and joint resolutions. The measures returned in your search results will have the potential to become law, but may or may not have reached that milestone. To limit your search to only measures that have become law, use the Show only bills that became law in search results checkbox, located at the bottom of the Legislation Types section.

Both public and private legislation are searched by default. To search only public or private legislation, click the appropriate radio button.

Subjects

Legislative analysts from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) closely examine the content of each bill and resolution to assign Policy Area Terms and Legislative Subject Terms. One policy area term, which best describes an entire measure, is assigned to every public bill or resolution. The policy area term vocabulary is consistently used for all bills and resolutions introduced since 1995 (104th Congress).

The legislative subject term vocabulary consists of approximately 1,000 subjects, geographic entities, and organization names. CRS may assign one or many terms to describe a measure's substance and effects. The legislative subject term vocabulary is consistently used for all bills and resolutions introduced since 2009 (111th Congress).

Amendments are not assigned policy area or subject terms.

To add one or more policy area terms to your search, click on the Choose Policy Areas link. Click on the checkbox next to each term of interest. After you have finished selecting terms, click on the Apply button at the top right of the page. If you select more than one policy area term, they will be combined in your search query with an OR operator.

After clicking Apply, you will be returned to the advanced search page. You can continue adding other criteria to your search, or you can click on Search at the top right of the page to run your search. If you want to change your selections, click on the Edit Policy Areas link.

To add one or more subject terms to your search, click on the Choose Legislative Subject Terms link. Click on the checkbox next to each term of interest. Use the radio buttons above the alphabet ribbon to indicate whether you want to combine multiple selections with an OR operator or an AND operator.

After you have finished selecting terms, click on the Apply button at the top right of the page.

If you add both policy area terms and subject terms to your search, they will be combined in your search query with an AND operator.

Use the Cancel link to return to the advanced search page without adding any terms to your search query.

Actions/Status

You can search legislative actions three different ways.

  1. Search words, phrases or action codes in actions text. See Action Codes for a list of available codes and what they mean.
  2. Choose an action from the Quick List by clicking on its radio button.
  3. Choose one or more actions from the Full List by clicking on the All Actions link, selecting your action of interest and clicking Apply. Use the radio buttons at the top of the page to indicate whether you want to combine multiple selections with an OR operator or an AND operator.

You can make selections from all three legislative action search options, which are combined with an AND operator.

Note: Date searching currently works only with word, phrase or action code searches entered in the Search in Actions/Status Text box. It does not work with actions selected from the Quick List or Full List.

Date (of Action)

You can search for actions that occurred on a specific date or range of dates by entering a word, phrase or action code in the Search in Actions/Status Text box and then selecting a date or date range from the Date picker beneath the Word Variants and Case sensitive checkboxes.

To search a precise date of action, choose is equal to from the dropdown menu and pick the date from the calendar. To search a range of dates, choose is between, is after, or is before and pick a date or dates from the calendar(s). Choose is to search by common date parameters yesterday, last 7 days, or last 30 days.

To find any actions that occurred on a specific date or range of dates, choose a date without entering anything in the text box.

Note: Date searching currently works only with word, phrase or action code searches entered in the Search in Actions/Status Text box. It does not work with actions selected from the Quick List or Full List.

Sponsors/Cosponsors

To find measures sponsored by a particular Member, start typing a first or last name in the box. As you type, you can select one of the options that appears in the dropdown list of suggested completions, or you can finish typing. The Member's name is searched as a Sponsor by default. Adjust the checkboxes below the Member Name box to search for a Member as Sponsor and Cosponsor, or Cosponsor only.

To search for more than one Member, click on Or choose multiple Members. The default search is for Sponsors. Adjust the checkboxes to search for Cosponsors, or check both to search Sponsors and Cosponsors. Click on Choose House Sponsors, Choose Senate Sponsors, Choose House Cosponsors, and/or Choose Senate Cosponsors to see a full list of Members for the Congresses selected.

Multiple selections from the list are combined with OR by default. Use the radio buttons at the top of the list to combine selections with AND.

After making your selections, click the Apply button on the right side of the page near the top. Your selections are displayed on the right side of the search form.

Use the Cancel link to return to the advanced search page without adding any sponsors or cosponsors to your search query.

Committees

To find measures referred to a particular committee, click on Choose House Committees to see a full list of House committees that have conducted activities related to legislation during the selected Congress or Congresses. Legislative activities related to committees include origination, referral, hearings, markups, reporting and discharge.

Multiple selections from the list are combined with OR by default. Use the radio buttons at the top of the list to combine selections with AND.

After making your selections, click the Apply button on the right side of the page near the top.

When both House and Senate committees are selected, they are combined with OR.

Note: Committee names may change over time. The most recent committee name is displayed in the list, followed by the range of Congresses during which the committee existed.

Use the Cancel link to return to the advanced search page without adding any committees to your search query.

Search Field Equivalents

This table shows the SOLR fields that are searched in each of the advanced search form entry boxes.

Search Label on Form Field Searched
Congress congressId:
Legislation and Law Numbers cite:
Words and Phrases - All fields including Bill Text text:
Words and Phrases - All fields except Bill Text metadata:
Words and Phrases - Titles only allBillTitles:
Words and Phrases - Bill Text Only billText:
Words and Phrases - Summaries All billSummary:
Words and Phrases - Summaries Latest billSummaryLatest:
Legislation Types billType:
Policy Area billPolicyArea:
Legislative Subject Terms billSubjectTerm:
Search in Actions/Status Text - Actions By chamberOfActionChild:
Search in Actions/Status Text billActionChild:
Quick List actionCode:
Full List actionCode:
Date (of Action) actionDateChild:
Sponsors (word entry box) billSponsor:
Sponsors (modal selection list) - House houseSponsor:
Sponsors (modal selection list) - Senate senateSponsor:
Cosponsors billCosponsor:
Cosponsors (modal selection list) - House houseCosponsor:
Cosponsors (modal selection list) - Senate senateCosponsor:
House Committees houseCommittee:
Senate Committees senateCommittee: