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BLAWg In Bloom

The Indiana Law Library Blog

He said what?! How to Research Congressional Members’ Statements

Did you hear what Senator John McCain said on Monday about bombing Syria?  If you were anywhere near a TV, newspaper or the internet, you might have noticed that McCain called for a U.S.-led airstrike against Syria.

If you wanted to know more about what McCain said, to find his entire statement, or how to cite it in an official source, would you know how to begin this research?

When researching statements made by members of Congress, look at the context of the statement for clues.  Where was the member speaking . . . on the floor of the U.S. House or Senate, in a committee meeting or hearing, at a press conference, at a public event?  Who was the audience?  What was the date?  These clues will lead you to the correct source. Full Story »

Where to find recent Congressional testimony

Georgetown University Law School student Sandra Fluke has made news headlines for her recent testimony on the subject of women’s health at a hearing held by the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on February 23rd.

Congressional committees generally hold hearings for legislative, investigative, or oversight purposes.  At a legislative hearing, witnesses are invited to provide testimony on behalf of or against legislation and the bill’s sponsor is expected to appear to defend his or her proposed legislation.

Official printed hearings contain transcripts of the proceedings of Senate and House committee meetings, member statements, question and answer sessions, and prepared statements submitted by those testifying before the committee.  Official hearings are published by the Government Printing Office and can take anywhere from three months to three years to be published (if published at all!). It is entirely up to the discretion of the congressional committee (or subcommittee) to even publish a hearing. Full Story »