United States Congress
Data Dictionary of Legislative Documents

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Element Name: section
Description: A hierarchical structure of a measure. This is usually the top level contained with the legislative body. Levels contained within sections are subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, clauses, subclauses, items, and subitems. Sections are normally enumerated with a numeric value followed by a period (e.g., 1.).

The formatting of a section (structure of legislation) will be according to the rules of the style (such as OLC style or United States Code Style) in effect. The style will control such display issues as the fonts and highlighting used, the margins, and the indentation levels. The style (and the numerical order of the section (structure of legislation) within its containing structure) will also control generation of text, for example, the word “Section”, “Sec.”, or “ยง” before the enumerator and any punctuation or spacing surrounding or following the enumerator. In so doing, the style will ensure that a period always follows the abbreviation “Sec”, but not the word “Section”, and that the appropriate punctuation follows the enumerator. Accordingly, such punctuation will not be keyed and will not be part of the data.

Any necessary punctuation and spaces following the header will also be generated for display or printing. For example, when a section (structure of legislation) follows OLC style, a generated period will follow the header.
Bills DTD Content Model: (enum?, header?, (text | appropriations–para*)?, (quoted–block | graphic | formula | toc | table | list)*, (subsection* | paragraph* | committee–appointment–paragraph*), continuation–text?)
Name: changed
Description: Has this ENTIRE structural element (such as a Section (structure of legislation), Title (structure of legislation), etc.) been added or deleted?
Value(s): added, deleted, not-changed
Default Value: not-changed
Name: display-inline
Description: The display-inline attribute provides a mechanism to pull levels together in their display. Typically, this will be used when the enumerator needs to be combined (e.g., (a)(1)). Possible values are yes-display-inline and no-display-inline.
Value(s): yes-display-inline, no-display-inline
Default Value: no-display-inline
Name: id
Description: Unique name for the element so that it can be referenced.
Value(s): ID
Default Value: #REQUIRED
Name: indent
Description: Mechanism permitting an override of the indentation typically used or a way to specify indentation level for a structure. The values are relative (up1 through up7 and down1 through down7) and absolute (the structure level can be specified such as subsection).
Value(s): left-margin, flush-left, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, clause, subclause, item, subitem, up1, up2, up3, up4, up5, up6, down1, down2, down3, down4, down5, down6
Default Value: #IMPLIED
Name: reporting-committee
Description: For new or deleted textual material, this attribute provides a link to the name of the committee that made a particular insertion or deletion. The committee name is defined in the committee amendment line, which is part of one of the actions associated with the measure. This element links a specific change to that committee name.
Value(s): CDATA
Default Value: #IMPLIED
Name: reporting-committee-number
Description: This attribute represents the change style. For example, if 0, the material is not displayed. If 1, the added material is italic and the deleted material is strike-through. If 2, the added material is bold-italic and the deleted material is bold-strike-through. All of these items have not been defined.
Value(s): CDATA
Default Value: 1
Name: section-author
Description: An optional value for identifying the author of a single section.
Value(s): CDATA
Default Value: #IMPLIED
Name: section-type
Description: Values are: (first-section | subsequent-section | non-designated-section). This allows us to define explicitly whether the word before the section needs to be "Section", "Sec.", or nothing.
Value(s): subsequent-section, section-one, resolved, undesignated-section
Default Value: subsequent-section
Parent Elements:
  • account
  • chapter
  • constitution-article
  • division
  • legis-body
  • part
  • quoted-block
  • subaccount
  • subchapter
  • subdivision
  • subpart
  • subsubaccount
  • subsubsubaccount
  • subtitle
  • title