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Legislative History: Bills

Legislative history details and resources at Paley Library

House and Senate Bills

A bill is the form in which most legislation is introduced into either house of Congress.  A bill may be permanent or temporary, general or specific, public or private.  Bills may originate in the House or the Senate with the exception of revenue bills which originate in the House.  Bills are designated H.R. or S. and are numbered consecutively throughout a Congress.  Bills proposing public laws are printed upon introduction and are usually reprinted when amended.  Bills proposing private laws are not reprinted.  When introduced in the Congress, a bill is immediately referred to a committee for study and recommendations.

GPO, Ground floor

Bills, bills, bills...

Federal bills come in many flavors.  For full descriptions and distinctions, see the resources in the "For more detail..." box on the Legislative Process tab.

House Resolution -- H.R. Res.

Senate Resolution -- S. Res.

House Concurrent Resolution -- H.R. Con. Res.

Senate Concurrent Resolution -- S. Con. Res.

House Joint Resolution -- H.R.J. Res.

Senate Joint Resolution -- S.J. Res.

Senate Executive Resolution -- S. Exec. Res.