banner4.jpg


About Congressional Bills

FDsys contains all published versions of bills from the 103rd (1993-1994) Congress forward. The system is updated by 6 a.m. (EST) daily when bills are published and approved for release.

Definitions of Types of Legislation

Bills

 

H.R.

House Bill

S.

Senate Bill

 

A bill is a legislative proposal before Congress. Bills from each house are assigned a number in the order in which they are introduced, starting at the beginning of each Congress (first and second sessions). Public bills pertain to matters that affect the general public or classes of citizens, while private bills pertain to individual matters that affect individuals and organizations, such as claims against the Government.

 

Joint Resolutions

 

H.J. Res.

House Joint Resolution

S.J. Res.

Senate Joint Resolution

 

A joint resolution is a legislative proposal that requires the approval of both houses and the signature of the President, just as a bill does. Resolutions from each house are assigned a number in the order in which they are introduced, starting at the beginning of each Congress (first and second sessions). There is no real difference between a bill and a joint resolution. Joint resolutions generally are used for limited matters, such as a single appropriation for a specific purpose. They are also used to propose amendments to the Constitution. A joint resolution has the force of law, if approved. Joint resolutions become a part of the Constitution when three-quarters of the states have ratified them; they do not require the President's signature.

 

Concurrent Resolutions

 

H. Con. Res.

House Concurrent Resolution

S. Con. Res.

Senate Concurrent Resolution

 

A concurrent resolution is a legislative proposal that requires the approval of both houses but does not require the signature of the President and does not have the force of law. Concurrent resolutions generally are used to make or amend rules that apply to both houses. They are also used to express the sentiments of both of the houses. For example, a concurrent resolution is used to set the time of Congress' adjournment. It may also be used by Congress to convey congratulations to another country on the anniversary of its independence.

 

Simple Resolutions

 

H. Res.

House Simple Resolution

S. Res.

Senate Simple Resolution

 

A simple resolution is a legislative proposal that addresses matters entirely within the prerogative of one house or the other. It requires neither the approval of the other house nor the signature of the President, and it does not have the force of law. Most simple resolutions concern the rules of one house. They are also used to express the sentiments of a single house. For example, a simple resolution may offer condolences to the family of a deceased member of Congress, or it may give "advice" on foreign policy or other executive business.

 

Definitions of Common Versions of Bills

Version

Version Abbreviation

Definition

Chambers

Amendment Ordered to be Printed Senate

as

An alternate name for this version is Senate Amendment Ordered to be Printed. This version contains an amendment that has been ordered to be printed.

Senate

Additional Sponsors House

ash   

An alternate name for this version is House Sponsors or Cosponsors Added or Withdrawn. This version is used to add or delete cosponsor names. When used, it most often shows numerous cosponsors being added.

House

Agreed to House

ath

An alternate name for this version is Agreed to by House. This version is a simple or concurrent resolution as agreed to in the House of Representatives.

House

Agreed to Senate

ats

An alternate name for this version is Agreed to by Senate. This version is a simple or concurrent resolution as agreed to in the Senate.

Senate

Committee Discharged House

cdh

An alternate name for this version is House Committee Discharged from Further Consideration. This version is a bill or resolution as it was when the committee to which the bill or resolution has been referred has been discharged from its consideration to make it available for floor consideration.

House
Senate

Committee Discharged Senate

cds

An alternate name for this version is Senate Committee Discharged from Further Consideration. This version is a bill or resolution as it was when the committee to which the bill or resolution has been referred has been discharged from its consideration to make it available for floor consideration.

Senate
House

Considered and Passed House

cph

Considered and Passed House – An alternate name for this version is Considered and Passed by House. This version is a bill or joint resolution as considered and passed.

House

Considered and Passed Senate

cps

An alternate name for this version is Considered and Passed by Senate. This version is a bill or joint resolution as considered and passed.

Senate
House

Engrossed Amendment House

eah

An alternate name for this version is Engrossed Amendment as Agreed to by House. This version is the official copy of a bill or joint resolution as passed, including the text as amended by floor action, and certified by the Clerk of the House before it is sent to the Senate. Often this is the engrossment of an amendment in the nature of a substitute, an amendment which replaces the entire text of a measure. It strikes out everything after the enacting or resolving clause and inserts a version which may be somewhat, substantially, or entirely different.

House
Senate

Engrossed Amendment Senate

eas

An alternate name for this version is Engrossed Amendment as Agreed to by Senate. This version is the official copy of the amendment to a bill or joint resolution as passed, including the text as amended by floor action, and certified by the Secretary of the Senate before it is sent to the House. Often this is the engrossment of an amendment in the nature of a substitute, an amendment which replaces the entire text of a measure. It strikes out everything after the enacting or resolving clause and inserts a version which may be somewhat, substantially, or entirely different.

House
Senate

Engrossed in House

eh

An alternate name for this version is Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House. This version is the official copy of the bill or joint resolution as passed, including the text as amended by floor action, and certified by the Clerk of the House before it is sent to the Senate.

House

Engrossed and Deemed Passed by House

eph

This version is the official copy of the bill or joint resolution as passed and certified by the Clerk of the House before it is sent to the Senate. See H. J. RES. 280 from the 101st Congress for an example of this bill version.

House

Enrolled Bill

enr

An alternate name for this version is Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and Senate. This version is the final official copy of the bill or joint resolution which both the House and the Senate have passed in identical form. After it is certified by the chief officer of the house in which it originated (the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate), then signed by the House Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tempore, the measure is sent to the President for signature.

Joint
Senate
House

Engrossed in Senate

es    

An alternate name for this version is Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by Senate. This version is the official copy of the bill or joint resolution as passed, including the text as amended by floor action, and certified by the Secretary of the Senate before it is sent to the House.

Senate

Failed Amendment House

fah

This amendment has failed in the House.

House

Failed Passage House

fph

Bill or resolution that failed to pass the House.

House

Failed Passage Senate

fps

Bill or resolution that failed to pass the Senate. 

Senate

Held at Desk House

hdh  

An alternate name for this bill version is Ordered Held at House Desk after being Received from House. This version has been held at the desk in the House.

House

Held at Desk Senate

hds

An alternate name for this bill version is Ordered Held at Senate Desk after being Received from House. This version is a bill or resolution as received in the Senate from the House which has been ordered to be held at the desk, sometimes in preparation for going to conference. It is available to be called up for consideration by unanimous consent.

Senate

Introduced in House

ih

This version is a bill or resolution as formally presented by a member of Congress to a clerk when the House is in session.

House

Indefinitely Postponed  House

iph

This version is a bill or resolution as it was when consideration was suspended with no date specified for continuing its consideration.

House

Indefinitely Postponed Senate

ips

This version is a bill or resolution as it was when consideration was suspended with no date specified for continuing its consideration.

Senate
House

Introduced in Senate

is

This version is a bill or resolution as formally presented by a member of Congress to a clerk when the Senate is in session.

Senate

Laid on Table in House

lth

This version is a bill or resolution as laid on the table which disposes of it immediately, finally, and adversely via a motion without a direct vote on its substance.

House
Senate

Laid on Table in Senate

lts

This version was laid on the table in the Senate. See also Laid on Table in House.

Senate
House

Ordered to be Printed House

oph

This version was ordered to be printed by the House.  See also Ordered to be Printed Senate.

House

Ordered to be Printed Senate

ops

This version was ordered to be printed by the Senate. For example, in the 105th Congress S. 1173 was considered at length by the Senate, returned to the Senate calendar, ordered to be printed. Then its text was inserted into its companion House bill which was passed by the Senate.

Senate

Previous Action Vitiated

pav

This version is a bill or resolution as it was when an action previously taken on it was undone or invalidated. For example in the 102nd Congress for H.R. 2321 the Senate action discharging the Energy Committee and amending and passing the bill was vitiated by unanimous consent. The bill was amended, reported, and passed anew.

Senate
House

Placed on Calendar House

pch

This version is a bill or resolution as placed on one of the five House calendars. It is eligible for floor consideration, but a place on a calendar does not guarantee consideration.

House
Senate

Placed on Calendar Senate

pcs

This version is a bill or resolution as placed on one of the two Senate calendars. It is eligible for floor consideration, but a place on a calendar does not guarantee consideration.

Senate
House

Public Print

pp

Any bill from the House or Senate may be issued as a public print. If a bill is issued as a Public Print more copies will be printed than are printed for an engrossed version. Public prints also number the amendments made by the last chamber to pass it. Public Prints are typically published by the Senate to show Senate amendments to House bills. They typically contain the text of a House bill, indicating portions struck, plus Senate amendments in italics. They are routinely ordered for appropriations bills, but the Senate occasionally by unanimous consent orders public prints of other significant bills.

Senate
House

Printed as Passed

pap

This version is a public print of a bill as passed. Generally, appropriation bills receive a PP designation while non-appropriation bills receive a PAP designation. See also Public Print.

Senate
House

Ordered to be Printed with House Amendment

pwah

This version shows Senate amendments to a House bill. It is similar to a Public Print from the Senate, except that it does not include portions struck, only the Senate amendment in the nature of a substitute in italics. See S. 1059 from the 106th Congress for an example of this bill version on a Senate bill.

House
Senate

Referred with Amendments House

rah

This version was referred with amendments to the House.

House

Referred with Amendments Senate

ras

This version was referred with amendments to the Senate.

Senate

Reference Change House

rch

An alternate name for this bill version is Referred to Different or Additional House Committee. This version is a bill or resolution as re-referred to a different or additional House committee. It may have been discharged from the committee to which it was originally referred then referred to a different committee, referred to an additional committee sequentially, or reported by the original committee then referred to an additional committee. See S. 1016 for an example of this bill version on a Senate bill.

House
Senate

Reference Change Senate

rcs    

An alternate name for this version is Referred to Different or Additional Senate Committee. This version is a  bill or resolution as it was re-referred to a different or additional Senate committee. It may have been discharged from the committee to which it was originally referred then referred to a different committee, referred to an additional committee sequentially, or reported by the original committee then referred to an additional committee. See H.R. 1502 from the 105th Congress for an example of this bill version on a House bill.

Senate
House

Received in House

rdh

An alternate name for this bill version is Received in House from Senate. This version is a bill or resolution as passed or agreed to in the Senate which has been sent to and received in the House. See the 105th Congress for an example of this bill version.

House

Received in Senate

rds

An alternate name for this bill version is Received in Senate from House. This version is a bill or resolution as it was passed or agreed to in the House which has been sent to and received in the Senate.

Senate

Re-engrossed Amendment House

reah

This version is a re-engrossed amendment in the House.

House
Senate

Re-engrossed Amendment Senate

res

This version is a re-engrossed amendment in the Senate. See also Engrossed Amendment Senate.

Senate
House

Re-enrolled Bill

renr

This version has been re-enrolled.

Joint
House
Senate

Referred in House

rfh

An alternate name for this bill version is Referred to House Committee after being Received from Senate. This version is a bill or resolution as passed or agreed to in the Senate which has been sent to, received in the House, and referred to House committee or committees.

Senate
House

Referred in Senate

rfs

An alternate name for this bill version is Referred to Senate Committee after being Received from House. This version is a bill or resolution as passed or agreed to in the House which has been sent to, received in the Senate, and referred to Senate committee or committees.

House
Senate

Reported in House

rh

This version is a bill or resolution as reported by the committee or one of the committees to which it was referred, including changes, if any, made in committee. The bill or resolution is usually accompanied by a committee report which describes the measure, the committee's views on it, its costs, and the changes it proposes to make in existing law. The bill or resolution is then available for floor consideration. This version occurs to both House and Senate bills.

House
Senate

Referral Instructions House

rih  

An alternate name for this bill version is Referred to House Committee with Instructions. This version is a bill or resolution as referred or re-referred to committee with instructions to take some action on it. Invariably in the House the instructions require the committee to report the measure forthwith with specified amendments.

House
Senate

Referral Instructions Senate

ris

An alternate name for this bill version is Referred to Senate Committee with Instructions. This version is a bill or resolution as referred or re-referred to committee with instructions to take some action on it. Often in the Senate the instructions require the committee to report the measure forth with specified amendments.

Senate
House

Reported in Senate

rs

This version is a bill or resolution as reported by the committee or one of the committees to which it was referred, including changes, if any, made in committee. The bill or resolution is usually accompanied by a committee report which describes the measure, the committee's views on it, its costs, and the changes it proposes to make in existing law. The bill or resolution is then available for floor consideration.

Senate
House

Referred to Committee House

rth

Bill or resolution as referred or re-referred to a House committee or committees. See 104th Congress for an example of this bill version.

House

Referred to Committee Senate

rts

Bill or resolution as referred or re-referred to a Senate committee or committees.

Senate

Additional Sponsors Senate

sas

Additional sponsors have been added to this version.

Senate

Sponsor Change

sc

This version is used to change sponsors.

House

Added and Deleted Text in Congressional Bills

Text that was added to or deleted from a particular version of a bill is indicated in different ways in ASCII text and Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

 

ASCII text files include tags to mark changes in the text. Example.

  • Added text is enclosed in quotation marks. These quotes should not be confused with the quotation marks that are part of the text of the bill.

  • Deleted text is preceded by a <DELETED> tag and followed by a </DELETED> tag. (In the files for the 103 rd Congress, deleted text is distinguished by the insertion of a hyphen before each deleted character.

 

Note : When multiple paragraphs have been deleted, the tags appear at the beginning and end of each affected paragraph. However, when multiple paragraphs have been added, the quotation marks appear at the beginning of each affected paragraph and at the end of the last paragraph in the series.

 

PDF files mark changes in the text in exactly the same way that those changes appear in the printed version. Example.

  • Added text is presented in italics.

  • Deleted text is stricken through with a line.

Related Documents for Congressional Bills

  • History of Line Item Veto Notices (as published in the FR) prior to Supreme Court Opinion No. 97-1374 (Argued April 27, 1998 -- Decided June 25, 1998).

  • How Our Laws Are Made (Senate Document 105-14)

 


 

 

G P O ' S   F E D E R A L   D I G I T A L   S Y S T E M