HeinOnline's U.S. Federal Legislative History Library is a research powerhouse containing more than 2,400 titles and covering all major public laws. Documents contained in legislative histories include various bill versions, House reports, Senate reports, congressional hearings, the full text of the final public law, and more. Researchers use these documents to clarify ambiguous statutory language and to determine legislative intent behind all or portions of a public law.
This month, we've added two significant compiled legislative histories dealing with extremely relevant topics: cybersecurity and tax hikes. Both legislative histories were compiled by William H. Manz. Manz is an attorney and adjunct professor at St. John's University Law School in Jamaica, New York, where he previously held the position of Senior Research Librarian. He has authored several books, including Guide to State Legislation, Legislative History, and Administrative Materials and The Palsgraf Case: Law, Courts and Society in the 1920s. Manz has also written more than 30 law review articles on a variety of subjects, which are available in HeinOnline's Law Journal Library.
On December 18, 2014, four bills pertaining to cybersecurity were signed into law by President Obama:
- Federal Information Security Modernization Act
- National Cybersecurity Protection Act of 2014
- Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014
- Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act
One year later, the 114th Congress passed four more acts, grouped into the Cybersecurity Act of 2015. This legislative history compilation includes the text of all 2014 and 2015 cybersecurity enactments, as well as various bill versions, related bills, committee reports, presidential materials, Government Accountability Office reports, and congressional debates and hearings. Read William Manz's full introduction here, or access the cumulative contents of all volumes included in this legislative history here.
Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015: A Legislative History of Public Law No. 114-113 Division Q
This bipartisan bill was enacted as Division Q of the $1.1 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 and included provisions to ease tax burdens on both businesses and individual taxpayers. It also addressed certain problems with IRS administration and United States Tax Court Procedures.
TIP: Find documents related to and published by the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Tax Court in the U.S. Federal Agency Documents, Decisions, and Appeals database.
Changes effected by this act:
- Ensure that IRS employees are familiar with and act in accord with certain taxpayer rights
- Prohibit IRS employees from using personal email accounts for official business
- Establish procedures relating to the release of information regarding the status of certain investigations
- Establish procedures for administrative appeal relating to adverse determinations of tax-exempt statuses of certain organizations
- Eliminate gift tax for contributions to certain exempt organizations
Access either or both titles online by navigating to the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library, and browsing by popular name or public law number. Both titles will also be available as print-on-demand sets and may be ordered from our online catalog.
In addition to an incredible collection of compiled federal legislative histories, the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library contains a database version of Nancy Johnson's book, Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories, which has aided researchers in finding various compilations, books, and scholarly articles pertaining to public laws and legislative histories since the first edition was published in 2007.
To illustrate the depth of resources available in this database, let's look at the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. First, browse to this act from the collection homepage using the publication title, public law number, or the popular name. Once the public law is found, click the title of the law to expand a list of available compiled legislative histories:
Access the compiled legislative history by clicking the document title.
Next, let's find this act in the Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories Database. This time, we will browse by the public law number, which is 75-717. Select Sources of Compiled Legislative Histories from the browse options:
Next, select the 75th Congress and then scroll to find Public Law No. 75-717. Click the title of the act:
In addition to any compiled legislative history materials available in HeinOnline, the Sources database entry also includes related law review articles and books available on the particular public law:
Click on any title or article's blue hyperlink to access material available in HeinOnline. This is an excellent resource for both new and experienced legislative history researchers!