Federal Resources

There are many rules and procedures that govern the way the Senate works. Those rules and procedures can sometimes be difficult to understand, and this section is filled with online resources designed to answer many of those questions. Also Senator Wyden's,  "For Kids" page offers resources for children and their parents and teachers to learn more about the federal government and how it impacts them.

Rules and Procedure of the U.S. Senate

The Senate floor is not only governed by a set of standing rules, but also by a variety of customs, political circumstances and ad hoc arrangements that keep the process moving.  Knowledge of the Senate’s formal rules is not enough to understand how the Senate really works and this page offers a variety of resources to shed light on the process.  Also useful in understanding how the Senate works is the following report by the Congressional Research Service:  “The Legislative Process on the Senate Floor: An Introduction.”

How a Bill Becomes a Law

Tracking legislation from the time that it is drafted by a U.S. Senator up until it is signed into law by the President of the United States, the attached flow chart illustrates the legislative process within the United States Senate.  

Understanding the Federal Budget Process

Each year by the first Monday in February, the President of the United States submits a budget to Congress recommending funding levels and priorities for the federal government.  It is, however, up to Congress to appropriate funding for the federal government.  This site is filled with resources to understand the budget process.

Finding Congressional and Government Documents

Many government documents—such as bills, statutes and treaties—are available online.  This Senate site explains how to find materials related to the Senate and the legislative process. Also in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, the Library of Congress provides THOMAS as a means of searching and tracking legislative information.

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