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Presidential-Congressional Relations, Gov 3010: Library Exercises


Please note: these sources are for use with the library exercise only. For your normal research, use these more comprehensive guides:

For gathering background information, it is usually best to start with secondary sources. Take thorough notes when using them: dates, names, Congress and session numbers, bill numbers, titles and numbers of Public Laws, citations to court cases, etc.  Those notes will make your research vastly more efficient, especially when you turn to primary sources.

Government Reference


GAO, CBO, and CRS Reports

  • Government Accountability Office (GAO)
    Full text reports from this non-partisan "watchdog" agency evaluate cost and effectiveness of past and proposed legislation. Formerly known as the known as the General Accounting Office.
  • Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
    Primary congressional agency charged with reviewing congressional budgets and other legislative initiatives with budgetary implications.
  • CRS Reports, 2004-present, via ProQuest Congressional. "The Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides comprehensive research and analysis on all legislative and oversight issues of interest to Congress." Other sources of CRS Reports.

Secondary Sources

From Congressional Quarterly

  • CQ Magazine (formerly CQ Weekly) (online, 1983-present)
    Govt Index JK1 .C15 (print, 1964-2012)
    Published weekly. "In-depth reports on issues looming on the congressional horizon, plus a complete wrap up the previous week's news, including the status of bills in play, behind-the-scenes maneuvering, committee and floor activity, debates and all roll-call votes."
  • CQ Almanac (online, 1945-present)
    Govt Index JK1 .C66 (print, 1948-present)
    An amazing source for the comings and goings of legislation, published annually. Information on: provisions and discussion of bills and acts; presidential requests, support, opposition; influences on legislation; committee hearings, roll call votes; appropriations
  • Congress and the Nation
    Govt Index JK411 .C6
    1945-present (print)
    Congress and the Nation, 2013-2016 (online)
    Published annually. Exceedingly useful tool. Each annual volume summarizes selected Congressional action on a full range of topics: appropriations, defense, commerce, agricultural, health, economy, etc. Also includes congressional leadership, roll call votes, key votes, voting analyses (presidential support, party unity, voting participation), list of public laws passed, etc. For public laws, provides a brief history of a bill, including bill numbers, committee reports, date signed by the President, etc.
  • More secondary sources on Congress.



  • Roper Center
    The Roper Center archives datasets from thousands of surveys with national adult, state, foreign, and special subpopulation samples. These datasets are listed in the Catalog of Holdings. Online access to many datasets are provided through the Roper Express service. US nationwide public opinion polls since 1935 are available through the iPoll service. A full-text retrieval system, the iPOLL online database is organized at the question-level.


Subject Guide

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