thomas.loc.gov is the authoritative source for the Congressional Record, and GPO also has its own online archive. Both seem to pick up in the mid-1990s, I have no idea where you’d get Records from the years 1989 to 1994 online.
ETA: Your local Federal Repository Library should have all Congressional Records available to you, if memory serves. But you would have to go there.
Alternatively, if you have any sort of public law library available, you can go there and ask for help from the librarian to use Lexis or Westlaw. Both should go back to the beginning, and the search function is powerful, if not necessarily intuitive. I would check your local law school for the most likely publicly available law library. (I say should because I’m not a litigator and have never really had much reason to dig deep into that sort of legislative history, so I’m honestly not sure. But it should be there.)
Well, it’s not completely accessible online because it takes both staffing, money and time to digitize older resources, and additional time to make sure they’re both OCR’d and indexed well enough to make things findable in it. It’s an expensive proposition, and one that is not likely a high priority when it is still available to the public, albeit not in the most convenient format.
That said, there is a proprietary database that may have what you’re looking for - if you post, PM or email (this should be available in my profile) me the info, I can take a look, since my library subscribes. (Yes, I know the frustrations of proprietary databases selling access to digitized copies of US government publications and I could rant about it for a long time. And I do rant, loudly and often, but that’s yet to make the difference).
Which is literally and exactly what the Google Books project has, given that they invented technology to make it feasible and have already scanned over 30 million books using it. There is no reason I can see that old bound copies of the CR can’t be handled exactly as the millions of bound volumes of old magazines already have been.
Money. I’m not sure if the responsibility would fall to the Library of Congress or the Government Printing Office, but funding is a challenge. As a general rule (with exceptions of course), government agencies are prohibited from accepting donations, so it isn’t necessarily the case that Google or whomever could do the work and then hand over a digital catalog to the government, either.
Terrific. While that interface is a little wonky, I do have several specific page numbers to look for, and a bit of patient searching may find it or not. I just wish the search box actually worked, since it brings up either nothing or multitudes of bad hits, depending on how much of the quote I put in.
Thank you for the find. Now the question becomes: if the Internet Archive has this where they they get it from and why doesn’t everybody else make use of it?