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FDLP Resource Guides
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U.S. Congress


GovInfo provides free public access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government.

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Catalog of U.S. Government Publications

Search U.S. Government Publishing Office’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications for catalog records. Many records link to the full text.

Screenshot of Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP)

Open Educational Resources

All FDLP Resource Guides are open educational resources for anyone to share, copy, and reuse.


General information and extensive details exist about the U.S. Congress. This guide highlights some information by or about the legislative branch, including select publications that are available in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications and GovInfo. In addition, there are some featured guides by Federal Depository Libraries that show additional U.S. Government information about the U.S. Congress.

Photograph of an aerial view of Capitol Hill in 2007

Aerial view of Capitol Hill featuring the U.S. Capitol in 2007 (Source: Library of Congress)

Federal Legislative Branch

There are three main parts of the legislative branch at the U.S. Government level: the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and the legislative branch agencies. Click on each tab of this box to check out some information about each of these areas

Seal of U.S. House of RepresentativesThe purpose of the U.S. House of Representatives is to make and pass laws. In addition, the House exclusively initiates revenue bills, impeaches Federal officials, and elects the President of the United States if there is a tie in the Electoral College. There are 435 representatives, 5 delegates, and 1 resident commissioner. The representatives have full voting rights while the delegates and resident commissioner are non-voting members. For more information about the House, visit their official website. Its information includes the chamber's history, floor proceedings, committee schedules, votes on recent bills, and more.

Seal of U.S. SenateThe U.S. Senate's purpose is also to make and pass laws. Senators confirm the President of the United States’ appointments that require consent and provide advice and consent to ratify treaties, with some exceptions. The 100 senators represent each state equally (two per state), regardless of the 50 states’ varying population sizes. Visit the Senate's official website for more information about it. This website has information that includes the chamber's history, committee hearings and meetings, appointment statuses of civilian and non-civilian government positions nominated by the President, and more.

Legislate branch agencies of the U.S. Government report to the U.S. Congress. They provide support and information for congressional members. Below are four of these agencies: Congressional Budget Office, Library of Congress, U.S. Government Accountability Office, and U.S. Government Publishing Office.

Screenshot of CBO's website

Congressional Budget Office

  • Its mission is to provide “objective, nonpartisan information… to help Congress make effective budget and economic policy."


Screenshot of Library of Congress' website

Library of Congress

  • Though the Library of Congress serves primarily the members of Congress with 24/7 access to information and reference services, the general public can also enjoy and explore its vast printed and digital collections.


Screenshot of GAO's website

U.S. Government Accountability Office

  • Its purpose is to “examine how taxpayer dollars are spent and advise lawmakers and agency heads on ways to make government work better."


Screenshot of GPO's website

U.S. Government Publishing Office

  • Its mission is to “publish trusted information for the Federal Government to the American people."