Committee Prints, which are generally background research papers prepared for use in legislative deliberations, can be among the most difficult government documents to obtain but also among the most useful.
Prints are prepared by:
They are sometimes reprinted as Senate or House Documents to increase their distribution.
Most Congressional work is traditionally done in committees. When a bill is introduced in either chamber of Congress it is referred to the committee having jurisdiction over its subject matter. Most bills do not become law; some 95% of those introduced during any given Congress die in committee when that Congress ends. Note that each "Congress" lasts two years, which is the length of a term of a member of the House.
For longer treatment on the legislative process, see How Our Laws are Made and Enactment of a Law, by the Parlimentarians of the House and Senate, respectively.
ProQuest Congressional (BC Community Only)
Congressional Information Service Fiche Library
Hearings are generally held for one of three reasons:
The Senate also provides a list of committee histories (PDF file). (Note that some are printed as Committee Prints and some as Senate Documents.)