How to Refine a Search

Search results facets

Facets in search results page

You can refine your quick search by using facets or by using search within results. You also can narrow your search results with field searching from quick or advanced search.

Refine a Search with Facets

Facets are a convenient way to refine your quick search results. A facet represents a particular data field and displays all the values contained in that field.

Using Facets

Facets are displayed on the left side of your quick search results list. Numbers next to each facet value represent the number of matching results within your results set. Use the + or - widget next to each facet heading to expand or collapse the list of facet values. Select a facet value to limit your search results to only items containing that value.

For example, select Joint Resolutions under Bill Type to limit your results to joint resolutions only. An X next to a facet value indicates your search has been limited. Click on the X to remove the limit and to restore results for all values.

Some facets, such as Congress, allow you to select more than one value using the checkboxes on the left. You can check as many facet values as you would like to include in your search. Click on Show More to expand a long list of facet values.

Legislation Facets

Bill Type

Use the Bill Type facet to limit your results to one of the following types:

  • Bills (H.R. or S.)
  • Amendments (H. Amdt. or S. Amdt.)
  • Resolutions (H. Res. or S. Res.)
  • Joint Resolutions (H.J.Res. or S.J.Res.)
  • Concurrent Resolutions (H.Con.Res. or S.Con.Res.)

Chamber

Use the Chamber facet to limit your results to legislation originated in the House or Senate.

Committee

Use the Committee facet to limit your results to legislation associated with a particular House or Senate committee or subcommittee.

Congress

Use the Congress facet to limit your results to one or more Congresses by checking each Congress of interest.

Cosponsor

A cosponsor is a Member of Congress who has joined one or more other Members in his or her chamber (House or Senate) to sponsor a bill or amendment. Any number of Members may cosponsor a bill.

Use the Cosponsor facet to limit your results to legislation cosponsored by a particular member.

Party

Use the Party facet to limit your results to legislation sponsored by a Member from a particular party.

A sponsor is a Member of Congress who introduces a bill or other measure. A bill can have only one sponsor.

Use the Sponsor facet to limit your results to legislation sponsored by a particular Member.

Status of Legislation

Use the Status of Legislation facet to limit your results to legislation that has reached a particular stage in the legislative process. Possible values are:

  • Introduced
  • Committee Consideration
  • Floor Consideration
  • Failed One Chamber
  • Passed One Chamber
  • Passed Both Chambers
  • Resolving Differences
  • To President
  • Veto Actions

Subject

Legislative subject terms thoroughly describe a measure's substance and efforts. There are approximately 1,000 issue-oriented, entity, and geographic terms. Legislative analysts closely examine each bill and resolution to assign a primary subject term that best describes the entire measure. There are 33 primary subjects.

Use the Subject facet to limit your search results to legislation that is primarily about a particular subject matter.

Committee Report Facets

Report Type

Use the Report Type facet to limit your results to House or Senate reports. Use the Conference Reports Only checkbox to limit your results to conference reports.

Congress

Use the Congress facet to limit your results to one or more Congresses by checking each Congress of interest.

Committee

Use the Committee facet to limit your results to legislation associated with a particular House or Senate committee.

Congressional Record Facets

Congress

Use the Congress facet to limit your results to one or more Congresses by checking each Congress of interest.

Chamber

Use the Chamber facet to limit your results to the House or Senate section of the Congressional Record.

Member Facets

Congress

Use the Congress facet to limit your results to Members serving during the selected Congress or Congresses.

Chamber

Use the Chamber facet to limit your results to Members of the House (Representatives) or Senate (Senators).

Party

Use the Party facet to limit your results to profiles of Members from a particular party.

Members by U.S. State or Territory

Use the Members by U.S. State or Territory to limit your results to Member Profile pages for members from a particular state.

Refine a Search with Search within Results

Searches submitted via quick search can be narrowed using Search within Results.

Using Search within Results

From any quick search results page, check the Search within Results box, clear your original search terms from the search bar, and enter your additional search terms. All of your search terms, original and additional, will be displayed at the top of your results. You can remove any term from your search by clicking on it.

Facets and Search within Results can be used together.

Field Searching

Use a field qualifier to control where your search term or phrase is found in a document. For example, to retrieve legislation with the word 'snap' in the title, type title:snap in the search box. Field qualifiers can be used in the quick search bar or the advanced search command line entry box. Fields currently available are listed in the following table. Note that field qualifiers are case-sensitive and must be followed by a colon.

Source Field Example Limits Search
All congressId congressId:113 by congress
All chamber chamber:House by chamber (House or Senate)
All legislativeSource legislativeSource:"Congressional Record" by content collection
Legislation title title:snap to all bill titles
Legislation officialTitle officialTitle:"reauthorize agricultural programs" to official bill titles
Legislation popularTitle popularTitle:"farm bill" to popular bill titles
Legislation shortTitle shortTitle:"agriculture reform" to bill short titles
Legislation billSummary billSummary:"amends the Internal Revenue Code" to CRS bill summaries
Legislation billText billText:"polar bear" to bill full text
Legislation note note:"for further action see" to the text of notes
Legislation committee committee:judiciary to all committee names
Legislation houseCommittee houseCommittee:rules to House committee names
Legislation senateCommittee senateCommittee:finance to Senate committee names
Legislation jointCommittee jointCommittee:library to Joint committee names
Legislation billSponsor billSponsor:jones to bill sponsor names
Legislation billCosponsor billCosponsor:johnson to bill cosponsors names
Legislation billSponsorOrCosponsor billSponsorOrCosponsor:smith to bill sponsors or cosponsors
Legislation billSubject billSubject:energy to primary bill subjects
Legislation allBillSubjects allBillSubjects:manufacturing to all bill subjects
Legislation billStatus billStatus:"Resolving Differences" to one of the following: Introduced, Committee Consideration, Floor Consideration, Failed One Chamber, Passed One Chamber, Passed Both Chambers, Resolving Differences, To President, Veto Actions
Legislation billAction billAction:"postponed proceedings" to the text of all actions
Legislation latestAction latestAction:"passed Senate" to the text of the latest action
Member Profiles memberState memberState:Ohio to members from a specific state
Congressional Record crArticleTitle crArticleTitle:"student loans" to Congressional Record article titles
Congressional Record crArticleContent crArticleContent:"motion to proceed" to Congressional Record text
Committee Reports congReportTitle congReportTitle:"Grazing Improvement Act" to committee report titles
Commitee Reports congReportContent congReportContent:"renewable resources" to the text of committee reports