Are you looking for a particular House or Senate report in HeinOnline, possibly to help determine the legislative intent behind a law? Depending on the information you have, there are different ways to search for these reports, which are almost always going to be located inside a compiled legislative history.
The best and fastest way to find out if a House or Senate report is available in HeinOnline is to determine whether a compiled legislative history for the public law associated with the report is included in the database. For instance, if you are looking for House Report Number 106-778 from the 106th Congress, second session and you know that it pertains to Public Law Number 106-523, try the following:
Enter the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library and select the Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories Database. Choose Browse by Congress and select the 106th Congress. Using your find function (Ctrl+F), search for 106-523 and you will see the public law number and the title of the public law:
Click the title of the public law, to see the relevant material which pertains to it:
In this case, you will see there is a compiled legislative history available on this public law; click the title link to open this publication. If you expand the volume’s contents, and use your find function to search for 106-778, you’ll be directed to this House report:
It is also possible to search for a House or Senate report if you do not know the number or title of the public law with which the report is associated. In the example above, if you have the report number (106-778) and the date of the report (July 20, 2000) and you know that the report pertains to the Armed Forces, you could run a search across all subscribed collections as follows: “106-778” AND “July 20, 2000” AND “armed forces”. This will generate 45 results, and because you already know that these reports are likely to be found inside a compiled legislative history, you could narrow these results significantly by choosing the U.S. Federal Legislative History collection from the facets on the left side of the screen. Of the six remaining results, you can see the fourth result is House Report No. 106-778:
Also, you have the option of entering the House report number in the title field in the Advanced Search tool in the U.S. Federal Legislative History library, and selecting only House/Senate reports:
This will deliver one result, and it’s the report you need.
While HeinOnline does not have a comprehensive collection of all House and Senate reports, there are a significant number available inside compiled legislative histories — and we are adding hundreds more to HeinOnline over the next several months! To learn more about HeinOnline’s U.S. Federal Legislative History collection and the Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories database, check out this recent blog post. For more information, and a short training video on searching for House or Senate reports, review this 2012 post.