Skip to main content

Social Welfare M221A: Foundations of Social Welfare Policy (Fall 2016)

(Same as Public Policy M260 and Urban Planning M241.)

Legislative History

Summary of Congressional Activities

CRS Reports

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a non-partisan public policy research arm of the United States Congress. CRS provides reports to members of Congress on a variety of topics relevant to current political events.

GAO Reports

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. While the focus of the reports are on fiscal analysis, they do provide excellent background information on policies that can be helpful to your overall policy analysis. Background information includes a review of literature, related laws, regulations, etc.

  • Use the advanced search to find reports by keyword or topic, e.g. ethanol or iran.

Congressional Committee Reports

Congressional Committee Reports are part of a set of documents called the US Serial Set.  House and Senate Committee Reports contain the findings of committee hearings or the outcome of committee deliberations. They can contain discussions of legislative intent, a short history of a bill, and comparisons of current and proposed law text.

For more information about Congressional Reports and Documents, see this guide from LexisNexis. Congressional.

Hearings - Testimony

A committee hearing is a meeting or session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress, usually open to the public, to obtain information and opinions on proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate/oversee the activities of a government department or the implementation of a Federal law. In addition, hearings may also be purely exploratory in nature, providing testimony and data about topics of current interest. For more information, see ProQuest Congressional Help.

Federal Reports and Papers