From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms
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).
Since the Continental Congress, commemorative legislation has been used to express public gratitude for distinguished contributions to American history and society; extol the virtues of individuals, groups, and causes; and perpetuate the remembrance of significant events. Today, commemorative legislation continues to serve as a formal mechanism to record recognition for posterity and a way for Members of Congress to connect with constituent groups.
Congress generally uses one of six types of legislation to commemorate individuals, groups, and events: postage stamps; commemorative coins; congressional Gold Medals; commemorative observances, including federal holidays; memorials; and building naming, including post offices.
George Washington’s Copy of The Acts of Congress
- Blue-Slip Resolution
- Concurrent Resolution
- Engrossed Bill
- Joint Resolution
- Pocket Veto
- Congressional Gold Medal (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- Ch. 2.D. Forms of Legislation, in Congressional Procedure
- “Commemorative Coins: Background, Legislative Process, and Issues for Congress,” CRS Report R44623 (37-page PDF)
- “Trends in Commemorative Legislation, 93rd Through 115th Congresses,” CRS IF11637 (5-page PDF)
- “Sessions, Adjournments, and Recesses of Congress,” CRS Report R42977 (31-page PDF)
- “The Legislative Process on the House Floor: An Introduction,” CRS Report 95-563 (18-page PDF)
- “Continuing Resolutions: Latest Action and Brief Overview of Recent Practices,” CRS Report RL30343 (23-page PDF)
- “Introduction to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress,” CRS Report R42843 (18-page PDF)
- Congressional Operations Briefing – Capitol Hill Workshop
- Drafting Federal Legislation and Amendments
- Writing for Government and Business: Critical Thinking and Writing
- Custom, On-Site Training
- Drafting Effective Federal Legislation and Amendments in a Nutshell, Audio Course on CD
- Congress, the Legislative Process, and the Fundamentals of Lawmaking Series, a Nine-Course series on CD
Legislative Drafter’s Deskbook: A Practical Guide
Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates
CongressionalGlossary.com, from TheCapitol.Net
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