Tips for Searching

If you are looking for a specific bill number or title, enclose your search in quotation marks for more precise results. (Note: searches are not case sensitive.) For example:

"hr 1"
"hr1"
"H.R. 1"
"student success act"

Faceted Search

CBO offers "faceted" searching. That means you have the option of filtering your search results based on several different "facets" (or ways that we categorize our work). All publications can be filtered by topic, publication type (e.g., cost estimate, report, working paper), and publication date. Our cost estimates search allows users to filter by Congress, budget function, committee of jurisdiction, presence or absence of an intergovernmental mandate, or whether or not pay-as-you-go procedures apply.

Boolean Search

CBO's search supports OR, AND, +, NOT, and -. (Note: operator names must be in ALL CAPS.)

budget OR economy The OR operator will return all items that contain the word "budget" plus all items that contain the word "economy."
budget AND economy The AND operator will return all items that contain both "budget" and "economy" but not results that contain only one or the other.
economy +revenue The + (or required) operator will return all items that contain "revenue." Any items that also include "economy" will display higher in the results. All results will contain the word "revenue."
budget NOT economy The NOT operator will return all items that contain the word "budget" but do not also include the word "economy" (Note: NOT can be used only with two or more terms.)
-economy The - (or excluded) operator will return all items that do not contain the world "economy." (Note: Use - to exclude a single term.)

Grouping

Adding parentheses around search terms will group queries, allowing for very detailed queries.

(budget OR economy) AND revenue The search will return all items that that contains the word "revenue" and also include either "budget" or "economy."
budget OR (economy AND revenue) The search will return all items that include "budget" and items that include both "economy" AND "revenue."

Wildcards

Use wildcards to search for variations of words.

fee? The ? (or single-character wildcard) operator will return all items that contain the word "feed" or "feel" or "fees" or "feet."
fee* The * (or multiple-character wildcard) operator will return all items that contain the above results, as well as items that contain "feeding" or "feeling" or "feelings."

Fuzzy Searches

Use fuzzy searches to find terms that are similar to, but not exactly like the term on which you are searching. This is especially useful if you're unsure about the spelling of a word.

simon~ The ~ (or fuzzy) operator will return all items that contain "simon" or "simone" or "timon" or "salmon."