What are Hot Docs?
A unique trove of policy-related, hard-to-find government source documents, including Draft Bill Text, Dear Colleague Letters, Congressional Press Releases and more. In conjunction with legislative tracking information and CQ news, Hot Docs provide additional context to help you get the full story on what’s happening on Capitol Hill.
Where can I find them?
Simply navigate to Research → Bills → Hot Docs. Here, you’ll find a search engine specifically for locating Hot Docs.
Browsing document types
Once on the page, you'll notice that there's a search engine dedicated solely to searching through Hot Docs. This is also the best way to understand what's included in CQ's Hot Docs database.
If you click the dropdown arrow under 'Document Type,' you'll see a list of all document types available.
Select as many as you'd like and add additional criteria to conduct your search. For reference, the Hot Docs available to you include:
- Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Cost Estimates: Formal written estimates by the Congressional Budget Office of the cost of virtually every bill reported by congressional committees to show how it would affect spending or revenues over the next five years or 10 years, depending on the type of spending involved.
- Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Reports and Briefs: Includes studies, reports, letters, briefs, background papers, working and technical papers produced by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
- Congressional Research Reports: Unnumbered letters, memoranda and guidance prepared by Congressional Research Service staff for members of Congress and congressional committees.
- GAO Reports: From the Government Accountability Office (GAO), these reports are subject-based and cover a wide variety of issues ranging from economic development and national defense to tax policy and energy. The agency monitors the use of public funds and public policies and reports its findings in GAO reports. These reports provide this analysis to the public and make recommendations to Congress to help it make informed decisions in matters of policy.
- Draft Bill Text: Drafts of legislation that originated from a member of Congress, that comes out prior to the GPO printing.
- Dear Colleague Letters: Letters between members of Congress, frequently with the salutation "Dear Colleague".
- Congressional Press Releases: Press releases from members of Congress or other Congressional organizations, such as committees or caucuses.
- Other Congressional Documents: Correspondence, memoranda, fact sheets, working papers, research reports and bill summaries prepared by members of Congress as well as staff reports, committee prints, subpoenas and rules published by congressional committees.
- White House Documents: Documents from the White House that include, but are not limited to, press releases, executive orders, presidential memoranda, speeches and remarks, and letters to agencies.
- Statements of Administration Policy (SAPs): The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issues statements outlining the administration's official position on major or controversial legislation pending before Congress. These SAPs offer a reliable guide to the president's support for or opposition to these bills and resolutions.
- Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Documents: A part of the Executive Office of the President, OMB's predominant mission is to assist the president in overseeing the preparation of the federal budget and to supervise its administration in Executive Branch agencies. With these releases, you'll get critical insight into the president's spending plans. Plus, OMB evaluates the effectiveness of agency programs, policies and procedures, assesses competing funding demands among agencies and sets funding priorities. OMB ensures that agency reports, rules, testimony and proposed legislation are consistent with the president's budget and with administration policies.
- Agency Documents: Documents from agencies that include, but are not limited to, press releases, OIG reports, and reports to Congress.
- Judicial Documents: Indictments, briefs, court orders, opinions and decisions, and other documents filed in major federal and state court cases involving constitutional issues, campaigns, elections, regulations and terrorism.
- Other Documents: Documents from NGOs, lobbying coalitions, newsworthy letters and trade associations.
If you'd like to be notified by email every time a Hot Doc relevant to your interests is added to your platform, refer to the PDF above for instructions on how to do so.