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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

Bills and Resolutions

2007 November 15 - Key Votes

We posted this blog entry a few months ago, but we have so many new viewers that we thought it would be a good idea to repost it. It should help those of you who haven't seen it before to be able to sort out the different types of legislation you may see in Congress. For those of you who had a chance to read it last summer, here is a refresher.

In Congress, legislation can be introduced in one of four forms. These forms are the bill, the simple resolution, the joint resolution, and the concurrent resolution. But how are we to know what the differences are between these forms and how each is unique?! Never fear, Informed Voter. Project Vote Smart is here to assist you.

Let's start with a bill. Bills are the most common type of legislation. Bills that originate in the House have a prefix of "HR" and then a number, for instance HR 4250. The HR stands for House of Representatives (not House Resolution as some may assume). A bill that originates in the Senate has a prefix of "S" and a number, for instance S 2352. Bills, when enacted, become laws.

Another form of Congressional legislation is the joint resolution. The name here is a little misleading. Joint resolutions are not introduced and considered in the two chambers of Congress simultaneously. A joint resolution may be introduced in the House or in the Senate, and must first pass that chamber before it is considered in the ...

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Bills and Resolutions

2007 August 17 - Key Votes

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