GOV 200: Understanding Public Policy
I. OFFICIAL DIRECTORIES
United States Government Manual, 2012
Ref. JK 421 .A3, kept at Reference Desk
Issued every October, this is the official directory of the U. S. government. The Manual
provides information on the agencies of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of
government, as well as quasi-official agencies, boards, and commissions. A list of the principal
officials is provided, with descriptive information (statement of purpose, brief history, major
programs and activities). This is a good source for addresses and phone numbers of specific offices.
Older editions are kept in the regular book stacks.
The latest edition is also available on FDSys.
United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions
Ref. Balcony JK 661 .U55 2008
Known as the "Plum Book," this is issued every four years by the Senate Committee on Government
Affairs. This is a listing of over 7,000 federal civil service leadership and support positions in
the legislative and executive branches that "may be subject to noncompetitive appointment." Also
II. FEDERAL BUDGET PUBLICATIONS
Budget of the United States Government:Fiscal Year 2014
Ref. HJ 2051 .A5 2014
This is a mammoth compilation of the administration's proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
The current budget is provided in five volumes, plus a brief "Citizen's Guide." The Appendix
contains 1,413 pages of detailed budget estimates arranged by agency. There is also a useful
section of summary data, the President's budget message to Congress, and theoretical justifications
for the proposals. There is a handy glossary of budget terms and a detailed index. The online version of
the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget (and earlier budgets) is available
Historical Tables: Budget of the United States Government: Fiscal Year 2014
Ref. HJ 2051 .A5 2014
Provides data on budget receipts, outlays, surpluses or deficits, and federal debt over extended time
periods - usually from 1934 or 1940 to 2015. An excellent quick source for budget data.
The online version of the Fiscal Year 2013 Historical Tables is also available
U.S. Doc. Y4 AP 6/1:
Transcripts of hearings before the House Committee on Appropriations.
These are published annually and fill many shelves in the government documents stacks. Generally
these hearings are not available online.
Congressional Budget Office
The home page of the CBO, with links to recent reports and analyses.
The 2012 Long-Term Budget Outlook
One of many recent reports from the CBO.
III. LAWS AND REGULATIONS
United States Statutes at Large
Ref. Balcony KF 50 .U52 (1893 - )
This is the first permanent form of federal laws. One or more volumes are compiled for each
legislative session. Recent laws are issued in "slip" format, arranged by Public Law number.
Public Laws from 1995 to the present are available on FDSys.
United States Code
Ref. Balcony KF 62 1992 .A2
This is the official codification of all federal laws, divided into 50 subject areas (or titles).
Specific subject indexing is included, as well as a listing of the laws by popular names.
Also available on FDSys.
Code of Federal Regulations
Ref. Balcony KF 70 .A3
This is the official codification of all federal regulations divided into 50 subject areas (or titles).
Also available on FDSys.
U.S. Doc. AE 2.106, Ground Floor
Published five days a week, this contains news of Executive rules and all presidential proclamations,
rules and regulations of the various bureaus and departments of the federal government, decisions of
fact-finding bodies, and all proposed regulations. Material from 1994 to the present is available
on FDSys. Only the most recent two years of the FR are retained in paper copy by the library.
- Federal Register (online)
- The official site from the National Archives. This is where all proposed and final federal regulations
are first posted, with information on how to submit comments.
IV. ADDITIONAL REFERENCE SOURCES
Encyclopedia of Taxation and Tax Policy
Ref. HJ 2305 .E53 2005
Over 200 essays on tax-related topics.
Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy (3 vols.)
Ref. Balcony JK 9 .E526 2003
Lengthy essays on more than 200 policy issues and topics.
Encyclopedia of Federal Agencies and Commissions
Ref. Balcony JK 9 .H536 2004
Brief profiles, organized mostly by Cabinet department.
Federal Agency Profiles for Students
Ref. Balcony JK 421 .F42 1999
A convenient guide to information about each major federal agency. The agency's mission,
Organizational structure, programs, history, budget, and publications are presented. Includes
Contact information and a brief bibliography.
Ref. Balcony JK 421 .G65 1983
An excellent source of description and background information on most government
agencies, bureaus, commissions and cabinet departments. Each entry includes the history and
development of the agency, a current assessment of its role in U.S. government, and a list of
reference sources. Chronological and genealogical charts in the appendix are very helpful in
tracing the growth of the federal bureaucracy.
Congressional Quarterly Almanac (CQ)
Ref. Balcony JK 1 .C663 1961 - 2004
also available online.
Provides a summary of legislative activity in Congress for a given year. Each volume begins with an
overview of the particular congress, with the major accomplishments highlighted. The following
chapters discuss the debate and passage of legislation in 9 broad areas (e.g., economy, defense,
foreign policy, appropriations). Roll call charts for the bills are included, as are voting studies,
presidential messages, and public laws.
Federal Regulatory Directory, 15th Edition
Ref. Balcony KF 5406 .A15F4 2012
Profiles of the major (and lesser) regulatory agencies, as well as the agencies affiliated
with the cabinet-level departments. Each profile gives historical background on the agency,
a review of important regulations, recent developments, and an outlook for the near future.
The Book of the States, 2013
Ref. Balcony JK 2403 .B6 2013
An annual directory, published by the Council of State Governments, that provides an administrative
overview of state government. Contains data on state finances, programs, regulations, and
intergovernmental affairs. There are 3 supplements: Elective Officials; Legislative Leadership, Committees
and Staff; and Administrative Officials.
V. ELECTRONIC RESOURCES
FDSys (Federal Digital System)
A service of the US Government Printing Office and the Superintendent of Documents, this
provides access to a wealth of current government information. It includes online access to
Presidential documents, public laws, Supreme Court opinions, and federal regulations. This replaces GPO Access.
A service that provides access to web pages of government agencies and to government services in general.
Directory of Government Agencies
This section of USA.gov provides a directory of government agencies - federal, state, and local. The agencies can also be searched by topics.
Easy access to proposed federal regulations.
Thomas (Library of Congress)
The Library of Congress' electronic access to legislative information: bills, public laws, and
CQ Weekly Reports
This publication updates the CQ Almanac with a weekly reporting and analysis of congressional
activity. Provides text and summaries of major legislation. This is the best source for tracking
the progress of a bill in congress and contains charts for "Bills to Watch" and "Status of Appropriations").
Washington Information Directory
An annual guide to the official and unofficial agencies and organizations that support the
workings of the U.S. government. The directory is divided into 17 broad subject areas. Each
section includes the departments and agencies of the federal government, congressional committees,
and private organizations. Brief information is provided, with addresses, phone numbers and names
of contact persons. Also includes several "ready reference" lists: foreign embassies and
ambassadors, state officials, congressional offices, etc. Contains organization charts and other
Connections to full-text newspaper articles (including the New York Times), business
information, and legal resources.
Access to publications of the US Congress - indexing, abstracting, and some full-text of
committee hearings, reports, bills, and public laws.
Social Sciences Full Text
Indexes and abstracts over 400 English-language periodicals in all areas of the social sciences,
including politics and economics.
Education Full Text
Indexes more than 400 domestic and international English-language periodicals and yearbooks. Subjects include administration, teaching methods and curriculum, literacy, policy, and government funding. Covers 1984 to the present.
Catalog of U. S. Government Publications
An index of all federal government publications from 1976 to the present. Many recent publications contain
Yahoo Government Links
A variety of government links can be found in the Yahoo menus; follow the path U.S. Government -
Executive Branch - Departments and Agencies. You can also do free-text searching for political
topics on Yahoo.
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE 1973 -
AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW 1906 -
AMERICAN POLITICS QUARTERLY 1973 -
JOURNAL OF POLITICS 1939 -
JOURNAL OF SOCIAL POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC STUDIES 1989 -
JOURNAL OF STATE GOVERNMENT 1986 -
NATIONAL JOURNAL 1961 -
NATIONAL REVIEW 1955 -
NEW REPUBLIC 1914 -
POLICY STUDIES JOURNAL 1972 -
POLICY STUDIES REVIEW 1981 -
POLITICAL AFFAIRS 1956 -
POLITICAL QUARTERLY 1950 -
POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY 1886 -
POLITICAL STUDIES 1956 -
POLITICS AND SOCIETY 1972 -
REVIEW OF POLITICS 1939 -
WASHINGTON MONTHLY 1969 -
Last updated: 10/7/13 tk,
contact Tom Karel for assistance - 291-3845.