Sunday, 17 June 2012

Comparing congressional bill versions

A query on the LLSDC listserv asked if anyone knew a good resource that would allow you to compare side by side amendments to a bill passed by Congress. One answer said that that while THOMAS does not yet have this feature, but CQ Roll Call's "Bill Compare" shows the version changes (unfortunately we don't have this resource because it is expensive). Then someone at Lexis chimed in with this helpful hint: "You can find bill text version on Lexis from 1989 forward (these are from CIS and are also in ProQuest Congressional, but only government, public, non-profit and law school libraries can access them on that platform), and then you can use a redlining program or even Word to highlight differences or changes in the versions from introduced through enrolled- you just get plain html text though, no interlineations or italics. The file is BLTEXT for current Congress, or the archives are BTX111, or BTXxxx back to 101. PQ Congressional is digitizing bills & resolutions back to 1789 as a new PDF collection."

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