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How to . . .   find committee hearings

Published hearing transcripts contain all witness testimony, the question-and-answer portion of the hearing, and any other material requested of the witness by the committee. It takes several months, or even years, for a hearing to be published. Unlike most other congressional documents, hearings are not available from the Senate or House Document Rooms. You may be able to locate a hearing from the Government Printing Office, from a committee website, or from a federal depository library.

Web Access

Many committees post witness testimony on their websites shortly after a hearing takes place. However, the transcripts are generally the prepared statements submitted by each witness, so they will not contain the question-and-answer portion. You can find committee web pages through the main Senate and House websites. Most committees organize their hearing transcripts by date, and sometimes by subcommittee. Generally, testimony is only available for witnesses who submitted their statements electronically.

Many of the officially published hearings since the 105th Congress (1997-1998) are available in full text on the Government Printing Office (GPO) website.


Published hearings may be available in large library systems or college libraries, frequently as a part of their participation in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Over 1,100 libraries participate in the FDLP, collecting and/or providing public access to government documents. A list of depository libraries is on the GPO website. Since most depository libraries are within a university or state library, calling ahead to ask about hours is advised.

Purchasing from GPO

Published hearings may be available for sale from the Government Printing Office (GPO), although it is often difficult to locate them in GPO's Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. More information is available from GPO by calling 202-512-1800 or 1-866-512-1800 or by visiting the online U.S. Government Bookstore. You may also fax or mail an order form..


Virtual Reference Desk

For information on the Senate, Congress, the legislative process and the federal government, the Virtual Reference Desk is a good place to begin.

Contact your Senators

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Senate Historical Office

Historical information provided by the Senate Historical Office.

Compilations of Law

Compilations of Law links to the full text of several popular acts of law as they have been amended over the years.