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Politics and Government

This guide is meant to point researchers in the direction of commonly-used politics & government resources available at Illinois State University. There are also descriptions of general search strategies to use those resources.

What's on this Page

This page walks you through the steps to find federal legislation from a variety of sources, both from Milner and the open web. If you need more assistance, please contact me using the information in my profile or reach out to Milner's reference desk.

Federal Legislation


Clicking the link above will take you to the Advanced Search page for Proquest's Congressional Publications. You can enter keywords to find government documents on a particular topic. You can limit by a specific date range or congressional session by clicking the buttons below the search boxes.

advanced search page of Proquest Congressional


You can also search for specific types of content using the list of check boxes on the left side of the page. Each content type has its own specific search box with unique criteria.

search filters

Below is an example of one of the search options - this one is for finding bills. You can limit by a bill's sponser or where the bill is in the legislative process. Note that the congressional session limiter does not work when you search this way (see above).

Specific filter for legislative citation or date - official source for federal legislative information

Available information includes:

  • Legislation: "Each piece of legislation has a landing page with tabs to help users find key information for the bill. Tabs take users to the following information: summary, major actions, titles, amendments, cosponsors, committees, and related bills."
  • The Congressional Record:  "[A] substantially verbatim account of remarks made during the proceedings of the House and Senate, is available from 1995 with the beginning of the 104th Congress."
  • Committee Information: A Committees Landing page is available that lists general information about Committees. All House and Senate committees for the current Congress are available with links to specific Committee pages."
  • Committee Reports: "A...landing page provides an overview section with a report-lookup tool by report type and citation number. The result listing appears in the lower half of the landing page and offers faceted searching targeted to Committee Reports, including a report type facet, and a conference report facet."
  • Profiles of Members of Congress: "All Members since 1973 and some members from 1947-1972 can be filtered by state, Congress, House or Senate, party, or Members currently serving....Member landing pages include a picture (when available), biography, years and Congresses served, the Member's state and district (Representatives only), party history, Member website link, and other key data."


OpenCongress is designed to help you keep track of what's really happening in Congress, your elected officials, and the issues you care about.