How Do You Find Information About New Federal Laws?


Quick Answer

New federal laws enacted in the United States can be found online in the Congressional legislative database. Clicking on the Legislation tab on Congress’ government home page brings up a search field to browse current bills and past legislation as far back as 1973. Clicking on a bill displays a bill summary and a link to the full text of the bill.

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Full Answer

On Congress.gov’s legislation search engine, new laws can be found by filtering search results by Congress and Status of Legislation. Under Congress, click the check box next to the current Congressional session; under Status of Legislation, click the check box next to Became Law. This automatically updates results to display the bills that have most recently become law.

To further refine results to include only bills (rather than amendments or resolutions), click the check box next to Bills (H.R. or S.) under Bill Type. To view legislation pertaining to a particular policy area, click the check box next to that policy area under Subject — Policy Area and repeat the search. Legislation can also be filtered by chamber, committee, sponsor, cosponsor and party. By default, legislation included in the search results appears in descending order by date of latest action. You can change the sorting criterion using a drop-down menu above the search results. Click on the title of a bill to view a summary of its contents. To view the full text of a bill, click on the All Bill Information link on the bill’s summary page, then on the View Text link.

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