Bills / Measure / Passed
A bill is the most commonly used form for legislation. A bill is prefixed with an H.R. in the House and with an S. in the Senate. A number assigned at the time of introduction signifies the order in which a bill was introduced during a Congress. A bill becomes law only if it is passed with identical language by both houses and signed by the president or passed over his veto. Under certain circumstances, a bill can become law without the president’s signature. The bill form is used for authorization or reauthorization of federal policies, programs, and activities, among its many lawmaking purposes.
Vehicle / Legislative Vehicle: Term for legislative measure that is being considered.
I’m Just a Bill (Schoolhouse Rock!)
The vast majority of legislative proposals are in the form of bills. Bills deal with domestic and foreign issues and programs, and they also appropriate money to various government agencies and programs.
Bills and joint resolutions are “passed” when a simple majority of the members in the House or Senate vote in the affirmative for the bill or joint resolution.
Public bills pertain to matters that affect the general public or classes of citizens, while private bills affect just certain individuals and organizations.
A private bill provides benefits to specified individuals (including corporate bodies).
When bills are passed in identical form by both Chambers of Congress and signed by the president (or repassed by Congress over a presidential veto), they become laws.
Measure: Term embracing bill, resolution and other matters on which the Senate takes action. Every measure introduced in Congress has a two-year life cycle. Legislation to be enacted into law must pass in identical form both the House and Senate and be signed by the president. Some measures must be introduced in several Congresses before sufficient political support is generated for them to be enacted into law.
- Concurrent Resolution (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- Enacted / Enacted into Law (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- Joint Resolution (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- Law / Public Law / Private Law (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- Private Calendar / Private Bill (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- Terms and Sessions of Congress
- in Congressional Procedure
- Chapter 1.F. House of Representatives
- Chapter 2.A. Introduction
- Chapter 2.D. Forms of Legislation
- Chapter 2.E. Bills
- Chapter 2.L. Referral to Committee
- Chapter 3.E. Markups
- Chapter 5.J. Amendment on the Senate Floor and in Committee
- Chapter 5.N. Final Passage
- Chapter 6.B. Resolving Differences
- Chapter 6.D. Conference Committee
- Chapter 6.F. Failure to Take Up a Measure
How a Bill Does Not Become a Law – SNL
- Congressional Bills – Govinfo.gov
- Most-Viewed Bills on Congress.gov
- Simple Resolution (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- “Bills and Resolutions: Examples of How Each Kind Is Used,” CRS Report 98-706 (6-page PDF)
- Private Bill – Wikipedia
- “Private Immigration Legislation,” CRS Report RL33024 (37-page PDF)
- “Procedural Analysis of Private Laws Enacted,” CRS Report RS22450 (12-page PDF)
- “Private Bills: Procedure in the House,” CRS Report 98-628 GOV (3-page PDF)
- “The Legislative Process on the House Floor: An Introduction,” CRS Report 95-563 (18-page PDF)
- “The Legislative Process on the Senate Floor: An Introduction,” CRS Report 96-548 (20-page PDF)
- “From Slip Law to United States Code: A Guide to Federal Statutes for Congressional Staff,” CRS Report R45190 (17-page PDF)
- Congressional Operations Briefing – Capitol Hill Workshop
- Drafting Federal Legislation and Amendments
- Writing for Government and Business: Critical Thinking and Writing
- Custom 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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