Act / Act of Congress / Law (

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms


My Twin Dolls
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ruth L

An Act of Congress (also called Act) is legislation (a bill or joint resolution) that has passed both chambers of Congress in identical form, been signed into law by the president, or passed over his veto, thus becoming law. A bill also becomes an act without the president’s signature if he does not return it to Congress within ten days, Sundays excepted, while Congress is in session. Technically, this term also refers to a bill that has been passed by one chamber and engrossed (prepared as an official copy).


George Washington’s Copy of The Acts of Congress


Also see





Legislative Drafter's Deskbook: A Practical Guide

Legislative Drafter’s Deskbook: A Practical Guide

Pocket Constitution

Pocket Constitution

Citizen's Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials

Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates

Congressional Procedure

Congressional Procedure, from TheCapitol.Net

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