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Congressional Documents: Floor Votes

Methods of Voting on the Floor

Generally, a recorded vote is one "in which members are recorded by name for or against a measure".

Guide to Congress. 6th ed., p. 1297.

In the Senate, there are commonly two types of votes: voice votes and roll call votes. Only the roll call vote is a recorded vote.

In the House, there are four types of votes. Two types are recorded: recorded votes and yeas and nays. Voice votes and division votes are not recorded votes.

Guide to Congress. 6th ed., pp. 582-583, 1288-1289, 1297, 1298, 1302.

See Also...

CQ Almanac (Online, 1945-present)
Govt Index JK1 .C66 (Print volumes, 1945-present)
CQ Vote Studies: Party Unity; Presidential Support

Politics in America, 1990-2014
Main Ref (previous 4 congresses), or Main Libr JK 1010 .P64
Similar to Almanac of American Politics.
CQ Vote Studies: Party Unity; Presidential Support

National journal (online)
1994-
Main Periodical (print)
v.9:43- 1977-
(Use PAIS International to search for some of the articles published in National Journal before our electronic subscription begins in 1994.)
Vote Ratings (relative liberalism and conservatism) included in a February issue.

Almanac of American Politics, 2012- (online)
Almanac of American Politics, 1974- (print)
Main Ref (previous 5 years), or Main Libr JK 1012 .A44
Group Ratings (of 10 interest groups). National Journal Ratings (relative liberalism and conservatism).

Senate Record Votes
1987-2004 (100th-108th)
Issued as committee prints.
The Senate Democratic Policy Committee or the Senate Republican Policy Committee prepared these compilations of Senate voting records and analyses for rollcall votes for each session of Congress, 1987-2004. Included: party cohesion, measure of party support on this vote.
To find these, search on "Senate Record Votes" in one of the sources for or indexes to Committee Prints.

How to ... find out about congressional votes, U.S. Senate.

Find Recorded Floor Votes (Recorded by Members' Names)

These are resources that provide lists of members who voted (in a recorded vote) on a particular bill on the floor of the House or Senate. These are not necessarily the best resources for examining or compiling the voting record of a particular member.

Sources that are particularly easy to use for the given congresses/years are marked as a Best Bet. If you want to use an authoritative primary source (Congressional Record and its predecessors, Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States and Journal of the Senate of the United States), consider beginning with an easier to use source, if available, to determine whether the vote was recorded and to collect the date and the vote number. This information may facilitate using the primary sources.

In most cases, begin by finding (a) the bill number and (b) the year or the congress number and session of the bill whose vote you are looking for.

Title

Chamber

Congress

Years

Format

Location

Notes

Congressional Record and predecessors both 1st- 1789- Most comprehensive source of votes at Bowdoin. See sources for the CR and predecessors at Cong. Debate. Use "History of Bills and Resolutions" in one of the last volumes of the year in the CR as an index. List is by vote position then by name; party and state are not provided.
Roll Call Votes Best Bet both 1st- 1789- online govtrack.us About their sources.
United States Congressional Roll Call Voting Records, ICPSR both 1st-105th 1789-1998 download data files United States Congressional Roll Call Voting Records A specialized resource. One dataset for each congress and chamber. Vote position, name, party, state, and district are provided.
Roll Call Data both 1st-113th 1789-2014 download data files voteview.com A specialized resource. One dataset for each congress and chamber. Vote position, name, party, state, and district are provided.
CQ Almanac both 79th- 1945- online CQ Almanac In more recent issues, look for "Key Votes". Only key votes included. List is by state, then by district and name; font style indicates party.
80th, 2nd sess.- 1948- print Govt Index JK1 .C66
CQ Magazine (formerly CQ Weekly) both 88th, 2nd sess.- 1964- print Govt Index JK1 .C15 In more recent issues, look for "For the Record". Only key votes included. List is by state, then by district and name; font style indicates party.
98th- 1983- online CQ Magazine (formerly CQ Weekly)

Congressional Roll Call Best Bet

both 92nd, 2nd sess.- 1972- print Main Ref JK1 .C6635 Start with Senate and House "Roll Call Votes by Bill Number". List is by state, then by district and name; font style indicates party.
Project Vote Smart Best Bet both 99th, 2nd sess., 102nd- 1986, 1991- online Project Vote Smart Look for "The Voting Record". Only key votes included. Fully sortable list provides state, district, name, party, and vote position.

congress.gov Best Bet

both

HR: 101st, 2nd sess.-

S: 101st-

HR: 1990-

S: 1989-

online Roll Call Votes by the U.S. Congress Points to the content on the House and Senate websites.
ProQuest Congressional both     online ProQuest Congressional Limit by "Vote Report". List is by state then by name. District, party, and vote position are also provided.
Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, a.k.a. House Journal House 1st-43rd 1789-1875 online Library of Congress, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation Use "History of Bills and Resolutions" at the back of the volume as an index. List is by vote position then by name; party and state are not provided.
60th- 1907- print Govt Doc XJH
102nd, 2nd sess.- 1992- online search or browse Journal of the House of Representatives in govinfo

U.S. House of Representatives Roll Call Votes, U.S. House of Representatives Best Bet

House 101st, 2nd sess.- 1990- online Roll Call Votes From the Office of the Clerk. List is by vote position then by name; party and state are not provided.
Journal of the Senate of the United States, a.k.a. Senate Journal Senate 1st-43rd 1789-1875 online Library of Congress, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation Use "History of Bills and Resolutions" at the back of the volume as an index. List is by vote position then by name; party and state are not provided.
60th- 1907- print Govt Doc XJS

Senate Record Votes

Senate 100th-108th 1987-2004 varies To find these, search on "Senate Record Votes" in one of the sources for or indexes to Committee Prints. Lists by vote position, party, and then alphabetical by Senator's name. Member's state is not provided.

Senate Roll Call Votes, U.S. Senate Best Bet

Senate 101st- 1989- online Senate Roll Call Votes Three separate lists are alphabetical by Senator's name, by vote position, and by state. Member's party and state are provided.

Title

Chamber

Congress

Years

Format

Location

Notes

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