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By The Issue Wonk



Legislation may originate from one of four (4) sources:  joint resolutions, concurrent resolutions, joint resolutions, and bills.


Joint Resolutions:  Joint Resolutions may originate in either the Senate or the House of Representatives.  Joint Resolutions become law in the same manner as bills unless it is a resolution proposing an amendment to the United States Constitution.  These must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of both houses and are not submitted to the president for approval.  They are sent directly to the Archivist of the United States for submission to the states where ratification is necessary.  Ratification is done by the legislatures of three-fourths (3/4) of the states within the prescribed period of time. 


Concurrent Resolutions:  Concurrent Resolutions usually concern matters affecting the operations of both the Senate and the House of Representative.  They are not submitted to the president for approval.  They are frequently used to express opinions, purposes, and facts.


Simple Resolutions:  A Simple Resolution is similar to a Concurrent Resolution except that it pertains to only one house of Congress. 


Bills:  Bills are the most commonly used form of legislation.  They may originate in either house, except those bills for raising revenue (taxes) must be originated in the House of Representatives.  Traditionally, appropriation bills also originate in the House.  There are 2 types of bills public and private.  A public bill is one that affects the public generally.  A private bill is one that affects a specified individual or private entity.




The Issue Wonk, 2006






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