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A page from the February 12, 1999 edition of the Congressional Record, published during the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton. Formal citation: 1999 Congressional Record, Vol. 145, Page 26 .

The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It is published by the United States Government Printing Office, and is issued daily when the United States Congress is in session. Indexes are issued approximately every two weeks. At the end of a session of Congress, the daily editions are compiled in bound volumes constituting the permanent edition. The Congressional Record is similar to the Hansards that report parliamentary debates in the Westminster system of government.

Contents

Overview

The Congressional Record consists of four sections: the House section, the Senate section, the Extensions of Remarks, and (since the 1940s) the Daily Digest. At the back of each daily issue is the Daily Digest, which summarizes the day's floor and committee activities and serves as a table of contents for each issue. The House and Senate sections contain proceedings for the separate chambers of Congress.

That portion of the Congressional Record entitled Extensions of Remarks contains speeches, tributes and other extraneous words that were not actually uttered during open proceedings of the full Senate or of the full House of Representatives. In years past, this particular section of the Congressional Record has been called the "Appendix." While Members of either body may insert material into the Extensions of Remarks portion of the Record, Senators rarely do so, and the overwhelming majority of what is found there is entered at the request of Members of the House of Representatives. From a legal standpoint, most materials in the Congressional Record are classified as secondary authority.

By custom and rules of each House, Members also frequently "revise and extend" the remarks they actually made on the floor before the debates are published in the Congressional Record. Therefore, for many years, speeches that were not actually delivered in Congress appeared in the Record, including in the sections purporting to be verbatim reports of debates. In recent years, however, these revised remarks have been preceded by a "bullet" symbol or, more recently and presently, printed in a typeface discernibly different from that used to report words actually spoken by Members.

History

The Constitution, in Article 1, Section 5, requires Congress to keep a journal of its proceedings, although the House and Senate Journals are separate publications from the Congressional Record, and include only a record of actions and votes, rather than that verbatim texts of the debates.

The Congressional Record was first published in 1873. Prior to this, proceedings, roll calls, debates, and other records were recorded in The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (1789 –1824), the Register of Debates in Congress (1824 – 1837), or the Congressional Globe (1833 – 1873). A digital collection of these historical volumes is now available online via the Library of Congress.

See also

External links

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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Congressional Record
The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It is published by the United States Government Printing Office, and is issued daily when the United States Congress is in session.— Excerpted from Congressional Record on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Volume 154


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