Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House, on any question, shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.
According to the Library of Congress
, the Senate Journal
should be seen as the minutes of floor action. It notes the matters considered by the Senate and the votes and other actions taken. It does not record the actual debates, which can be consulted through the "Link to date-related documents" in the full text transcription of the Journal
Historically, the Journal of the Senate, like Journal of the House of Representatives and Journals of the House of Commons and the House of Lords in British Parliament, was an important source of parliamentary law.