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Locate the Journal of the House of Representatives in a local Federal depository library.
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Journal of the House of Representatives

In Article I, Section 5 of the United States Constitution, it states, "Each House shall keep a Journal if its Proceedings, and from time-to-time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy;...". Accordingly, the Journal and not the Congressional Record, is the official record of the proceedings of the House.

The Journal is the official record of proceedings of each legislative day in the House of Representatives. The Journal records the result of every vote, and state in general terms the subject of it; therefore, the recorded votes on amendments occurring in the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union are recorded in the Journal, but not the proceedings. The Journal contains no verbatim debate, but instead a rendition of all the official actions of the House, including every motion made and every vote taken.

While in session, the proceedings are recorded in note form by a Journal Clerk at the dais, on the Floor of House of Representatives, in a large book called the "Journal Minute Book". Another Journal Clerk produces a manuscript of the actions in more detail by computer. The final, complete daily manuscript (computer generated) is proofed and presented to the Parliamentarians for review, and then, approved by the Speaker, prior to the next legislative day. Approval of the Journal, by the Speaker, is the first order of business of each legislative day.

At the close of each session of a Congress, the Journal is published in bound, hard copy form, CD. The Journal has a limited distribution, pursuant to the provisions of Section 713, Title 44, United States Code, which, of course, includes all Members of Congress. It is not a document that can be purchased from the Government Printing Office by the Public.

"Sections" in the House Journal include each legislative day's recorded proceedings, which comprise Part l and Part 2, with the following Journal documents: Proceedings Subsequent to Sine Die Adjournment, Rules of the House of Representatives, Table of Indexes, Questions of Order, History of Bills and Resolutions, Index Subjects, Index, and Appendix to the Index.

The material available for the Journal is from the 102nd (1991-1992) to the 109th (2005-2006) Congresses, with the exception of some sections of year-end materials for some years. To access material from the 106th Congress, 2nd session to the 109th Congress, see the Additional Government Publications collection.

About the Journal of the House of Representatives