Understanding the many different kinds of votes taken by Congress can be confusing. The following are some helpful tips to assist you in navigating my vote record.
There are two main types of legislation that originate from each house of Congress: bills and resolutions. Bills, if passed by the House and Senate and signed by the President, become binding law and part of the United States Code. Resolutions are not laws; instead, Resolutions express the “sentiments” of the House, Senate, or whole Congress.
H.R. stands for the U.S. House of Representatives, and any legislation with this prefix indicates that the bill originated from the House of Representatives. If passed by the House, the bill moves on to the Senate for consideration.
H.Res. stands for a resolution of the House of Representatives. House resolutions are not binding law, but rather express the sentiment of the House on a particular issue, person, or event. House committees may also be formed through the passage of a House resolution.
S. is used for Senate bills, and any legislation with this prefix indicates that the bill has originated from the United States Senate. If passed by the Senate, the bill then moves on to the House for consideration.
S.Res. stands for a resolution of the United States Senate. Senate resolutions are not binding law; rather, they express the sentiment of the Senate on a particular issue, person, or event. Senate committees may also be formed through the passage of a Senate resolution.
H.Con.Res. and S.Con.Res. refer to concurrent resolutions, which are taken up simultaneously by both the House and Senate. These resolutions do not become law, they only express the sentiment of the entire Congress on an issue, and must be passed by both chambers of Congress.
H.J.Res. and S.J.Res. stand for joint resolutions taken up simultaneously by both the House and Senate. These resolutions require the approval of both chambers, but once passed are submitted to the President for approval like ordinary bills.
A Rule is a resolution brought forward by the Rules Committee asking the House to consider a certain bill(s). Rules often put forth guidelines for debate between Members and govern a Member’s ability to offer amendments on the specific legislation.
A Motion to Recommit is a legislative tool typically offered by the party who has not introduced the current bill on the floor and want to send a bill back to the committee that referred it to the House floor. This action can indefinitely stall the legislation. Motions to Recommit can also be used as a final opportunity to amend legislation under consideration on the House floor before a final vote for passage.