Monday, March 11, 2013

The Congressional Record

The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It was first published in 1873. The United States Constitution requires Congress to keep a journal of its proceedings. The volumes that preceded the record are now available online via the Library of Congress in the Century of Lawmaking which includes the Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; the Register of Debates in Congress, and the Congressional Globe.

The Congressional Record has four sections: the House section, the Senate section, the Extension of Remarks and since the 1940’s, the Daily Digest. The Daily Digest is at the back of each daily issue and summarizes the floor and committee activities for the day. It also serves as a table of contents for each issue. Speeches and tributes are included in the Extension of Remarks. The House of Representatives uses this section on the Record more frequently than the Senate. The Congressional Record is available online at:

In contrast to the Massachusetts Journal of the House and the Journal of the Senate, members of Congress have the ability to “revise and extend” the remarks actually made on the floor of their respective chambers.

The State Library invites you to peruse the Congressional Record on our public access computers.

We also recommend the Thomas and American Memory websites for information about our government.