Congressional Record

The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress, published by the United States Government Publishing Office and issued when Congress is in session. Indexes are issued approximately every two weeks. At the end of a session of Congress, the daily editions are compiled in bound volumes constituting the permanent edition. Chapter 9 of Title 44 of the United States Code authorizes publication of the Congressional Record.

A page from the February 12, 1999, edition of the Congressional Record, published during the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton. Formal citation: 1999 Congressional Record, Vol. 145, Page S1457 .
Congressional record 1935 p1
A page from the June 14 to June 28, 1935, Congressional Record.


The Congressional Record consists of four sections: the House section, the Senate section, the Extensions of Remarks, and, since the 1940s, the Daily Digest. At the back of each daily issue is the Daily Digest, which summarizes the day's floor and committee activities and serves as a table of contents for each issue. The House and Senate sections contain proceedings for the separate chambers of Congress.

A section of the Congressional Record titled Extensions of Remarks contains speeches, tributes and other extraneous words that were not uttered during open proceedings of the full Senate or of the full House of Representatives. Witnesses in committee hearings are often asked to submit their complete testimony "for the record" and only deliver a summary of it in person. The full statement will then appear in a printed volume of the hearing identified as "Statements for the Record". In years past, this particular section of the Congressional Record was called the "Appendix".[1] While members of either body may insert material into Extensions of Remarks, Senators rarely do so. The overwhelming majority of what is found there is entered at the request of Members of the House of Representatives. From a legal standpoint, most materials in the Congressional Record are classified as secondary authority, as part of a statute's legislative history.

By custom and rules of each house, members also frequently "revise and extend" their remarks made on the floor before the debates are published in the Congressional Record. Therefore, for many years, speeches that were not delivered in Congress appeared in the Congressional Record, including in the sections purporting to be verbatim reports of debates.[2] In recent years, however, these revised remarks have been preceded by a "bullet" symbol or, more recently and currently, printed in a typeface discernibly different from that used to report words spoken by members.

The Congressional Record is publicly available for records before 1875 via the Library of Congress' American Memory Century of Lawmaking website[3] and since 1989 via (which replaced the THOMAS database in 2016).[4] For the time period in between, the records are not freely available online, but are commonly found in large library systems or college libraries.[5]


The Constitution, in Article I, Section 5, requires Congress to keep a journal of its proceedings, although the House and Senate Journals are separate publications from the Congressional Record, and include only a bare record of actions and votes, rather than verbatim texts of the debates.

The Congressional Record was first published in 1873. Prior to this, proceedings, roll calls, debates, and other records were recorded in The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (1789–1824), the Register of Debates in Congress (1824–1837), or the Congressional Globe (1833–1873). A digital collection of these historical volumes is now available online via the Library of Congress.[3]

See also

  • Hansard, British parliamentary record


  1. ^ "Congressional Glossary". The Center on Congress Indiana University Bloomington. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  2. ^ Jenks, Paul; Hall, Will & Peake, Dan (December 15, 2005). "On the Floor, In Congress". CongressLine. Archived from the original on July 21, 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation". Library of Congress. May 1, 2003. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  4. ^ "About the Congressional Record". Library of Congress. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  5. ^ "How to...find the Congressional Record". United States Senate. Retrieved July 17, 2015.

External links

1986 Maine gubernatorial election

The 1986 Maine gubernatorial election took place on November 4, 1986. Incumbent Democratic Governor Joseph Brennan was term limited and unable to seek re-election. First district Congressman John McKernan defeated Democratic Party challenger James Tierney as well as former Republican turned Independent Sherry Huber and former Portland, Maine city manager John Menario, making McKernan the first Republican to win The Blaine House since 1968.

The three main issues during the campaign were: the future of the Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Wiscasset, economic development and McKernan's congressional record.

Barent Gardenier

Barent Gardenier (July 28, 1776 – January 10, 1822) was an American lawyer and politician from New York. He was a United States Representative from 1807 to 1811.

Bill (United States Congress)

In the United States Congress, a bill is proposed legislation under consideration by either of the two chambers of Congress: the House of Representatives or the Senate. Anyone elected to either body can propose a bill. After both chambers approve a bill, it is sent to the President of the United States for consideration.

Blaine Act

The Blaine Act, formally titled Joint Resolution Proposing the Twenty-First Amendment to the United States Constitution, is a joint resolution adopted by the United States Congress on February 20, 1933, initiating repeal of the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which established Prohibition in the United States. Repeal was finalized when the 21st Amendment to the Constitution was ratified by the required minimum number of states on December 5, 1933.

California Pacific International Exposition half dollar

The California Pacific International Exposition half dollar, sometimes called the California Pacific half dollar or the San Diego half dollar, is a commemorative fifty-cent piece struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint in 1935 and 1936. Robert I. Aitken designed the coin. Its obverse depicts Minerva and other elements of the Seal of California; the reverse shows buildings from the California Pacific International Exposition (held 1935–1936), which the coin was issued to honor.

Legislation for the half dollar moved through Congress without opposition in early 1935, and Aitken was hired to design it. Once his creation was approved, the San Francisco Mint produced 250,000 coins, but expected sales did not materialize. Left with over 180,000 pieces they could not sell, the Exposition Commission went back to Congress for further legislation so it could return the unsold pieces and have new coins, dated 1936, hoping for greater sales in the second year of the fair's run. Although the Commission was successful in getting the legislation passed, it was less so in selling the coins, and 150,000 1936-dated pieces were returned to the Mint. The coins, of either date, sell in the low hundreds of dollars today.

Closed sessions of the United States House of Representatives

The United States House of Representatives rarely meets in closed session.

Copyright Term Extension Act

The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998 extended copyright terms in the United States. It is one of several acts extending the terms of copyrights.Following the Copyright Act of 1976, copyright would last for the life of the author plus 50 years, or 75 years for a work of corporate authorship. The 1976 Act also increased the extension term for works copyrighted before 1978 that had not already entered the public domain from 28 years to 47 years, giving a total term of 75 years.The 1998 Act extended these terms to life of the author plus 70 years and for works of corporate authorship to 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever end is earlier. Copyright protection for works published before January 1, 1978, was increased by 20 years to a total of 95 years from their publication date.

This law, also known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, Sonny Bono Act, or (derisively) the Mickey Mouse Protection Act, effectively "froze" the advancement date of the public domain in the United States for works covered by the older fixed term copyright rules. Under this Act, works made in 1923 or afterwards that were still protected by copyright in 1998 would not enter the public domain until January 1, 2019 or later. Mickey Mouse specifically, having first appeared in 1928, will be in a public domain work in 2024 or afterward (depending on the date of the product) unless the owner of the copyright releases them into the public domain before then. Unlike copyright extension legislation in the European Union, the Sonny Bono Act did not revive copyrights that had already expired. The Act did extend the terms of protection set for works that were already copyrighted, and is retroactive in that sense. However, works created before January 1, 1978, but not published or registered for copyright until recently, are addressed in a special section (17 U.S.C. § 303) and may remain protected until the end of 2047. The Act became Pub.L. 105–298 on October 27, 1998.

Ellis Island Medal of Honor

The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is an American award founded by the Ellis Island Honors Society (EIHS) (formerly known as National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) until Fall of 2017) which are presented annually to American citizens whose accomplishments in their field and inspired service to the United States are cause for celebration. Past medalists include seven U.S. presidents, several world leaders, two Nobel Prize winners and countless leaders of industry, education, the arts, sports and government, along with everyday Americans who have made freedom, liberty and compassion a part of their life's work.The medals were established at the time of EIHS's founding in 1986; a ceremony is held each May on Ellis Island. All branches of the United States Armed Forces traditionally participate. Both the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate have officially recognized the Ellis Island Medals of Honor, and each year's recipients are read into the Congressional Record. The Ellis Island's Great Hall where immigrants were once processed hosts the gala dinner which follows the ceremony. Approximately 100 medalists are honored each year.

Equal Rights Amendment

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. It seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters. The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman. The amendment was introduced in Congress for the first time in 1921 and has prompted conversations about the meaning of legal equality for women and men ever since.

In the early history of the Equal Rights Amendment, middle-class women were largely supportive, while those speaking for the working class were often opposed, pointing out that employed women needed special protections regarding working conditions and employment hours. With the rise of the women's movement in the United States during the 1960s, the ERA garnered increasing support, and, after being reintroduced by U.S. Representative Martha Griffiths (D-Michigan), in 1971, it was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on October 12 of that year and on March 22, 1972, it was approved by the U.S. Senate, thus submitting the ERA to the state legislatures for ratification, as provided for in Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

Congress had originally set a ratification deadline of March 22, 1979, for the state legislatures to consider the ERA. Through 1977, the amendment received 35 of the necessary 38 state ratifications. With wide, bipartisan support (including that of both major political parties, both houses of Congress, and Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter) the ERA seemed destined for ratification until Phyllis Schlafly mobilized conservative women in opposition. These women argued that the ERA would disadvantage housewives, cause women to be drafted into the military and to lose protections such as alimony, and eliminate the tendency for mothers to obtain custody over their children in divorce cases. Labor feminists also opposed the ERA on the basis that it would eliminate protections for women in labor law.

Five state legislatures (Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, and South Dakota) voted to revoke their ERA ratifications. Four claim to have rescinded their ratifications before the original March 22, 1979 ratification deadline, while the South Dakota legislature did so by voting to sunset its ratification as of that original deadline. However, it remains a legal question as to whether a state can revoke its ratification of a federal constitutional amendment.

In 1978, Congress passed (by simple majorities in each house), and President Carter signed, a joint resolution with the intent of extending the ratification deadline to June 30, 1982. Because no additional state legislatures ratified the ERA between March 22, 1979 and June 30, 1982, the validity of that disputed extension was rendered academic.On March 22, 2017, the 45th anniversary of Congress' submission of the ERA to the nation's state lawmakers, the Nevada Legislature became the first to ratify the ERA after the expiration of both deadlines with its adoption of Senate Joint Resolution No. 2 (designated as "POM-15" by the U.S. Senate and published verbatim in the Congressional Record of April 5, 2017, at pages S2361 and S2362).The Illinois General Assembly then ratified the ERA on May 30, 2018 with its adoption of Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment No. 4 (designated as "POM-299" by the U.S. Senate and likewise published verbatim in the Congressional Record of September 12, 2018, at page S6141).

Fort Vancouver Centennial half dollar

The Fort Vancouver Centennial half dollar, sometimes called the Fort Vancouver half dollar, is a commemorative fifty-cent piece struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint in 1925. The coin was designed by Laura Gardin Fraser. Its obverse depicts John McLoughlin, who was in charge of Fort Vancouver (present-day Vancouver, Washington) from its construction in 1825 until 1846. From there, he effectively ruled the Oregon Country, on behalf of the Hudson's Bay Company. The reverse shows an armed frontiersman standing in front of the fort.

Washington Representative Albert Johnson wanted a coin for Fort Vancouver's centennial celebrations, but was persuaded to accept a medal instead. But when another congressman was successful in amending a coinage bill to add a commemorative, Johnson tacked on language authorizing a coin for Fort Vancouver. The Senate agreed to the changes, and President Calvin Coolidge signed the authorizing act on February 24, 1925.

Fraser was engaged to design the coin on the recommendation of the United States Commission of Fine Arts. The coins were flown from the San Francisco Mint, where they were struck, to Washington state by airplane as a publicity stunt. They sold badly; much of the issue was returned for redemption and melting, and the failure may have been a factor in one official's suicide. Due to the low number of surviving pieces, the coins are valuable today.

Postmaster of the United States House of Representatives

The Postmaster of the United States House of Representatives was an employee of the United States Congress from 1834 to 1993.

Before the creation of the office of Postmaster, mail duties were handled by workers in the office of the Doorkeeper, who were paid additional compensation. The Postmaster was made into a distinct and permanent House of Representatives employee in 1832, and in 1834, William J. McCormick, a Doorkeeper's office employee, was named as the first House Postmaster. Four years later, the Postmaster was also given responsibility for the Capitol post office. The office of Postmaster was abolished in 1992; House mail handling procedures were reassigned to other officers and private entities.

A total of twenty-one Postmasters served in the House. One Postmaster, William S. King, served as a U.S. Representative after his service as Postmaster.

Public Printer of the United States

The Public Printer of the United States was the head of the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO). Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. § 301, this officer was nominated by the President of the United States and approved by the United States Senate. In December 2014, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law H.R. 83, which consolidated and continued appropriations for FY 2015. Section 1301 of that act changed the name of the Government Printing Office to the Government Publishing Office and the title of Public Printer to Director. Thus, Davita Vance-Cooks was the last Public Printer of the United States and the first Director of the U.S. Government Publishing Office.

The Public Printer is responsible for the administration of the GPO. The GPO, a legislative agency of the government, provides electronic access to and produces most printed matter for government, including the Congressional Record, Supreme Court decisions, passports, tax forms, internal government documents, and agency publications. The GPO does not print money, as that is a duty of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Salem Baptist Church

Salem Baptist Church is located at 3131 Lake Street in north Omaha, Nebraska, United States. Founded in 1922, it has played important roles in the history of African Americans in Omaha, and in the city's religious community. Church leadership has impacted the city in a variety of ways, with long-time pastor Rev. J.C. Wade being recognized in the Congressional Record in 2000, and having an area post office named after him.

Term limits in the United States

Term limits in the United States apply to many offices at both the federal and state level, and date back to the American Revolution.

Term limits, also referred to as rotation in office, restrict the number of terms of office an officeholder may hold. For example, according to the 22nd Amendment, the President of the United States can serve two four-year terms and serve no more than 10 years.

United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs

The United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs deals with oversight of United States veterans issues.

Vermont Sesquicentennial half dollar

The Vermont Sesquicentennial half dollar, sometimes called the Bennington–Vermont half dollar or the Battle of Bennington Sesquicentennial half dollar, is a commemorative fifty-cent piece struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint in 1927. The coin was designed by Charles Keck, and on its obverse depicts early Vermont leader Ira Allen, brother of Ethan Allen.

On January 9, 1925, Vermont Senator Frank Greene introduced legislation for commemorative coins to mark the 150th anniversary of Vermont declaring itself fully independent in 1777 and of the American victory at the Battle of Bennington the same year. His bill passed the Senate without difficulty, but in the House of Representatives faced an array of problems. Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon sent a letter opposing the bill and dispatched three Treasury officials to testify against it, arguing that the public was being confused as special coin issues entered circulation. The committee's resolve to have no more commemorative coins—after this one—did not impress the full House, which added two more half dollars to the legislation to mark other anniversaries. The Senate agreed to the changes, and President Calvin Coolidge signed the authorizing act on February 24, 1925.

There was a lengthy battle over the design between the Commission of Fine Arts and the Vermont commission in charge of organizing the coin issue, as a result of which the original designer, Sherry Fry, left the project, replaced by Keck. Although the eventual reverse design of a catamount satisfied the Fine Arts Commission, it has been severely criticized by later writers. The coins did not sell out; over a fourth of the issue was returned for redemption and melting. The coins sell for at least in the hundreds of dollars today, depending on condition.

Volstead Act

The National Prohibition Act, known informally as the Volstead Act, was enacted to carry out the intent of the 18th Amendment (ratified January 1919), which established prohibition in the United States. The Anti-Saloon League's Wayne Wheeler conceived and drafted the bill, which was named for Andrew Volstead, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who managed the legislation.


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