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LAW 4023: Legal Issues in Human Resources: United States Congress

LAW 4023

United States Capitol

The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., is a symbol of the American people and their government, the meeting place of the nation's legislature. The Capitol also houses an important collection of American art, and it is an architectural achievement in its own right. It is a working office building as well as a tourist attraction visited by millions every year.

Construction of the U.S. Capitol began in 1793. In November 1800, the U.S. Congress met in the first completed portion, the north wing. In the 1850s, major extensions to the North and South ends of the Capitol were authorized because of the great westward expansion of our nation and the resultant growth of Congress. Since that time, the U.S. Capitol and its stately dome have become international symbols of our representative democracy.

House of Representatives

As per the Constitution, the U.S. House of Representatives makes and passes federal laws. The House is one of Congress’s two chambers (the other is the U.S. Senate), and part of the federal government’s legislative branch. The number of voting representatives in the House is fixed by law at no more than 435, proportionally representing the population of the 50 states.

The House Explained

House of Representatives Website



The United States Constitution (Article I, Section I) grants all legislative powers to the Congress, which consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The Senate also has "advise and consent" privileges in matters of treaties and nominations.

Senate Website

Congressional Record

The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It is published daily when Congress is in session.  The public proceedings of each house of Congress, are printed pursuant to directions of the Joint Committee on Printing as authorized by appropriate provisions of Title 44, United States Code.  The "Laws and Rules for Publication of the Congressional Record" are published periodically.

The Congressional Record consists of four sections:

  • Daily Digest - At the back of each daily issue is the "Daily Digest," which summarizes the day's floor and committee activies and serves as a table of contents for each issue.

  • House section - Contains proceedings for the House.

  • Senate section - Contains proceedings for the Senate

  • Extension of Remarks - Includes tributes, statements, and other information that supplements statements made on the congressional floor.

Accessing the Congressional Record -

GovInfo offers coverage from 1994 - present. The current year's Congressional Record database is usually updated daily by 11 a.m., except when a late adjournment delays production of the issue. The date of the publication refers to the date the proceedings were recorded, not necessarily the date of delivery. offers coverage from 1989 - present.  In addition to keyword searching, it offers the ability to search by date, legislative numbers, and the works/speaking of individual members of both the House and Senate.

HeinOnline covers the Congressional Record from 1873 - 2014.  Congressional Record Daily covers 1980 - present.