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Research Guides

United States Congress, Gov 2010, Fall 2016: Home

1. Getting acquainted with the course guide

You will use the information you gather from this exercise in the next exercises and for your projects. Take notes on what you learn, including key sources .

  1. Find the tab that you would use to find information about members of Congress.
    • What were the Congress and Session numbers in 2010? On 11 Sept 2001?
    • What are two key sources that you could use to find information about members of the House and Senate serving on 11 Sept 2001?
  2. Go to the tab that you would use to get secondary information about Congress.
    • From which of the key background sources have you already been reading articles?
    • Which key news source(s) provide(s) access to video of Congress?
    • What are the key databases that you could use to find scholarly journal articles in political science?
  3. What is a congressional committee report?
  4. What is the title of the document in which the proceedings on the floor of the House and the Senate are currently recorded? What is the difference between the two editions?
  5. Which of the key sources for congressional committee hearings would potentially include hearings held immediately after 11 Sept 2001? Of those key sources, which is the recommended database to start with? Why might one database be recommended over the others for finding hearings during a particular period?

2. Secondary Sources and Primary Sources

Find secondary and primary sources associated with the repeal of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" law in 2010. Take notes on what you learn, including sources.

  1. Using secondary sources, find background information on the repeal of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" law in 2010. Record the information that you will need to gather further information about the bill:
    Congress number:
    Bill number:
    Public law number:
    Date signed by President:
  2. Who was the sponsor of the bill?
    Use congress.gov > Legislation > (search for bill by Congress and bill number)
  3. Find out more about the sponsor's activities in 2010.
    Use one of the key sources.
  4. Examine the first two pages of the introduced and final enrolled versions of the bill* and take note of the differences. Go on to the next step to find an explanation.
    Use congress.gov > Legislation > (search for bill by Congress and bill number) > text > (choose the version)
  5. Look at the debate on the floor of the House on 15 December 2010 (beginning on pg. H8396, column 2). What is an explanation for the differences you saw between the introduced and enrolled versions of the bill?
    Use congress.gov > Legislation > (search for bill by Congress and bill number) > actions > (all actions).

* The introduced version of a bill is the first version of the bill "as formally presented by a member of Congress to a clerk when the House is in session". The enrolled version is the "final official copy of a measure as passed in identical form by both chambers and then printed on parchment for presentation to the President".

3. Primary Sources and Secondary Sources (cont.)

  1. Look for committee reports on the bill. Do any of the reports pertain to "Don't Ask Don't Tell"?
    Use congress.gov > Legislation > (search for bill by Congress and bill number) > actions > all actions.
  2. Look at major recorded votes taken on the bill in the House or Senate. Do any of the votes pertain to "Don't Ask Don't Tell"?
    Use congress.gov > Legislation > (search for bill by Congress and bill number) > actions > all actions.
  3. Hearings were held on the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" on 23 July 2008 and 3 March 2010. Look for video related to those hearings.
  4. Find one of those hearings in published form (electronic version is fine).
  5. Look for CRS Reports (Congressional Research Service) on "Don't Ask Don't Tell". Choose one. Who wrote the report? What is its purpose?
    Use ProQuest Congressional > CRS Reports (from the “Secondary Sources” tab).
  6. From the "Secondary Sources" tab, look for GAO (Government Accountability Office) reports on "Don't Ask Don't Tell". Choose one. Why did the GAO conduct the study?
  7. Most of the tabs on this course guide are copies of tabs from the more extensive research guide, Congressional Documents. List the 5 tabs on the Congressional Documents guide that are not included in your course guide.

Subject Guide

Barbara Levergood
 
Contact:
Bowdoin College
H-L Library, Office 110B
3000 College Station
Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421
fax: 207-725-3083
blevergo@bowdoin.edu
207-725-3351
Website / Blog Page

Glossaries

Glossary
"Brief explanations of legislative terms used throughout Congress.gov."

Glossary of Terms
From the U.S. Senate. What is an engrossed bill? Enrolled bill? Cloture?