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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

COMM 180 (Hook): Government Sources

Congressional Resources (including bill tracking)

U.S Congressional, Federal, National resources including Bill Trackers. 


Is your Law Federal, State, Local? Is there a (government) organization that may be responsible for enforcing, administering or fund/report on your policy? 

For example:

  •  If your law was passed by a state you will not found the bill in a US Congressional bill tracking databases. You'll need to find state legislature bill tracking. 
  • If your topic is national then the National Archives may be helpful.
  • If you're researching a bill passed to serve a group (like veterans) than find an official organization serving that group (such as the US Department of Veterans Affairs.) Furthermore, conceder searching communication platforms developed to help the user understand or navigate the process (like the US Dept. of VA's official blog that provides a forum for answer questions) 
  • Who in the government works with the group the Law effects? For example, the ...Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation works with people in the prison system.  

  • Who are Non-profit/ civil organization interest in (research & lobbying groups)  or working with people affected by your law  (aids, volunteers, workers, boots on the ground people...)?

Think Tanks

"Think Tanks are policy-oriented research organizations that provide expertise to government."

 --- Critchlow, Donald T. "Think Tanks." Dictionary of American History, edited by Stanley I. Kutler, 3rd ed., vol. 8, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003, pp. 117-118. Gale Virtual Reference Library,

"Think tank: The term denotes a group of people who are paid to do nothing but read, discuss, think, and write, usually to address and redress a matter of vital importance to humanity...

The institutions on this list make up the 50 most influential think tanks in the United States. What makes a think tank influential? ...Our approach in ranking think tanks takes a different tack..." --The Best Schools 

Political sampling from the above list: