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Difference Between A Bill and A Law

What is the difference between a bill and a law
 
The difference is that a bill is a proposed law that has not been passed yet, and a law has been passed
 

What is the difference between amendment and law and bill?

An amendment to the Constitution has to be approved by 75% of the state's legislature after it has been approved by over 50% of congress. For a new Law, Congress has to approve it by 50% for it to become a law. A bill is only a suggestion by someone to become a law. The bill has to go through committees, and then through Congress to become a law. A law can always be vetoed by the President unless two thirds of congress override his veto. And any Law can be shot down by the U.S. Supreme Court except an amendment to the Constitution

What is the difference between a "bill," a "resolution," "a joint resolution," and a "concurrent resolution," and which of these does the President have to sign in order for them to become law?

While "bill" is used in common parlance to describe any legislative proposal, that is not procedurally correct. You are right that there are four types of legislative measures: bills, joint resolutions, concurrent resolutions, and simple resolutions. The key distinction among them is that two make law, and two don't.

Those that make law are bills and joint resolutions, while concurrent and simple resolutions do not. As law-making vehicles, bills and joint resolutions must go to the President for review. He may (1) sign them into law; (2) allow them to become law without his signature; (3) return them to Congress with a veto message, which gives Congress a chance to vote to override the veto; and finally, (4) pocket-veto them, which provides no opportunity for an override.

All legislative measures are numbered in the order in which they are introduced in their category. So the 900th bill introduced in the House would be "H.R. 900, " while the 900th joint resolution would be "H.J.Res. 900," the 900th concurrent resolution would be "H.Con.Res. 900," and the 900th simple resolution would be "H.Res. 900." The 100th bill introduced in the Senate would be "S. 100," joint resolutions would be "S.J.Res. 100", concurrent resolutions would be "S.Con.Res. 100, and simple resolutions would be "S.Res. 100."

When the goal is to make national law, Members must draft their proposals as either bills or joint resolutions. While there is no technical requirement to do so, the tradition is to use the form of a joint resolution for any measure seeking to amend the Constitution, for continuing appropriations (known as "continuing resolutions"), or for disapproving executive actions or federal agency regulations (known as "disapproval resolutions"). Most everything else is drafted in the form of a bill.

Concurrent resolutions must pass both the House and Senate to be enacted, but do not go to the President. They are used to give an opinion of the Congress, but without the force of law (so-called "sense of Congress" language), to create a new joint committee of the Congress, to establish a congressional budget, to authorize use of the Capitol rotunda for a ceremony, or anything else that takes action on behalf of both chambers.

Simple resolutions stay within the chamber they are introduced. They do not go to the other body, nor to the President. They speak on behalf of one chamber (e.g. "Sense of the Senate" language), or seek to create a new committee in the House, or propose to change the rules of procedure in one chamber only.

What is the difference between a public and private law?

  • Public Laws: Most laws passed by Congress are public laws. Public laws affect society as a whole. Public laws citations include the abbreviation, Pub.L., the Congress number (e.g. 107), and the number of the law. For example: Pub.L. 107-006.
  • Private laws: Affect an individual, family, or small group. Private laws are enacted to assist citizens that have been injured by government programs or who are appealing an executive agency ruling such as deportation. Private laws citations include the abbreviation, Pvt.L., the Congress number (e.g. 107), and the number of the law. For example: Pvt.L. 107-006.

What is the differnce between a bill, a joint resolution, a concurrent resolution, and a simple resolution?

Bills
A bill is the form used for most legislation, whether permanent or temporary, general or special, public or private. A bill originating in the House of Representatives is designated by the letters "H.R.", signifying "House of Representatives", followed by a number that it retains throughout all its parliamentary stages. Bills are presented to the President for action when approved in identical form by both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
 
Joint Resolutions
Joint resolutions may originate either in the House of Representatives or in the Senate. There is little practical difference between a bill and a joint resolution. Both are subject to the same procedure, except for a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution. On approval of such a resolution by two-thirds of both the House and Senate, it is sent directly to the Administrator of General Services for submission to the individual states for ratification. It is not presented to the President for approval. A joint resolution originating in the House of Representatives is designated "H.J.Res." followed by its individual number. Joint resolutions become law in the same manner as bills.
 
Concurrent Resolutions
Matters affecting the operations of both the House of Representatives and Senate are usually initiated by means of concurrent resolutions. A concurrent resolution originating in the House of Representatives is designated "H.Con.Res." followed by its individual number. On approval by both the House of Representatives and Senate, they are signed by the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate. They are not presented to the President for action.
 
Simple Resolutions
A matter concerning the operation of either the House of Representatives or Senate alone is initiated by a simple resolution. A resolution affecting the House of Representatives is designated "H.Res." followed by its number. They are not presented to the President for action.

For more information on bills and resolutions see Forms of Congressional Action in How Our Laws Are Made.

 

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Carly Wise-Levick,
Dec 3, 2009, 2:50 PM
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