Committee reports are generally considered to be the most valuable source of legislative history information - both in terms of determining Congressional intent and in learning more about the subject matter of the legislation. Committee reports typically contain a section by section analysis of the proposed bill and an explanation of why the committee recommended passage of the bill. A report may also set forth the reasons why a minority of the committee voted against the bill.
Congressional reports are assigned sequential numbers based on which house of Congress issued the report and the Congress in which the report was issued. You may also come across references to Senate Executive Reports, which are reports issued by the Committee on Foreign Relations relating to proposed treaties, or reports of other Senate committees regarding the nomination of individuals to offices that require the Senate's consent.
Sample citation: "H.R. Rep. No. 104-593" refers to the 593rd report issued by committees of the House of Representatives during the 104th Congress.
Reports are first issued in a pamphlet format and then included in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, which is the official bound compilation of Congressional documents. There are several different ways to locate the full text of a Congressional report.