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How to Use the Collection

In order to use the AWAHDC effectively, it is important to know some basic facts about the legislative and regulatory processes and the documents that are produced in the course of these activities. The following information diagrams are meant to help users identify the importance of each item in the collection and how it fits into these processes. The terms used in the Document Type field of each record in the AWAHDC are located in the boxes on the left. The text corresponding to each box describes these document types in context.

The Legislative Process

The legislative process encompasses the procedures by which the elected officials in the Congress introduce, debate, revise, and pass laws within that body’s two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives (the House).

Legislative Process Infographic

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The Regulatory Process

By themselves, public laws do not include all the information needed to explain how an individual, an organization, or a state or other local government might follow the law. Instead, Congress gives government agencies, such as the USDA, the authority to create regulations, which specify what is and is not legal. Very broadly, the process of creating a regulation is as follows.

Regulatory Process Infographic

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More detailed information on these processes can be found on the following websites: