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An Act of Congress
Congress
is a statute enacted by the United States Congress. It can either be a Public Law, relating to the general public, or a Private Law, relating to specific institutions or individuals. The term can be used in other countries with a legislature named "Congress", such as the Congress
Congress
of the Philippines.

Contents

1 Public law, private law, designation 2 Usage 3 Promulgation
Promulgation
(United States) 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Public law, private law, designation[edit]

Private Law 86-407

Public Law 86-90 (STATUTE-073-1-2), Page 212

In the United States, Acts of Congress
Congress
are designated as either public laws, relating to the general public, or private laws, relating to specific institutions or individuals. Since 1957, all Acts of Congress have been designated as "Public Law X-Y" or "Private Law X-Y", where X is the number of the Congress
Congress
and Y refers to the sequential order of the bill (when it was enacted).[1] For example, P. L. 111-5 (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) was the fifth enacted public law of the 111th United States Congress. Public laws are also often abbreviated as Pub. L. No. X-Y. When the legislation of those two kinds is proposed, it is called public bill and private bill respectively. Usage[edit] The word "act", as used in the term "Act of Congress", is a common, not a proper noun. The capitalization of the word "act" is deprecated by some dictionaries and usage authorities.[2] Some writers, in particular the U.S. Code, capitalize "Act". This is likely a result of the more liberal use of capital letters in legal contexts, which has its roots in the 18th century capitalization of all nouns as is seen in the United States Constitution. "Act of Congress" is sometimes used in informal speech to indicate something for which getting permission is burdensome. For example, "It takes an Act of Congress
Congress
to get a building permit in this town." Promulgation
Promulgation
(United States)[edit] An Act adopted by simple majorities in both houses of Congress
Congress
is promulgated, or given the force of law, in one of the following ways:

Signature by the President of the United States, Inaction by the President after ten days from reception (excluding Sundays) while the Congress
Congress
is in session, or Reconsideration by the Congress
Congress
after a presidential veto during its session. (A bill must receive a ​2⁄3 majority vote in both houses to override a president's veto.)

The President promulgates Acts of Congress
Congress
made by the first two methods. If an Act is made by the third method, the presiding officer of the house that last reconsidered the act promulgates it.[3] Under the United States Constitution, if the President does not return a bill or resolution to Congress
Congress
with objections before the time limit expires, then the bill automatically becomes an Act; however, if the Congress
Congress
is adjourned at the end of this period, then the bill dies and cannot be reconsidered (see pocket veto). In addition, if the President rejects a bill or resolution while the Congress
Congress
is in session, a two-thirds vote of both houses of the Congress
Congress
is needed for reconsideration to be successful. Promulgation
Promulgation
in the sense of publishing and proclaiming the law is accomplished by the President, or the relevant presiding officer in the case of an overridden veto, delivering the act to the Archivist of the United States.[4] After the Archivist receives the Act, he or she provides for its publication as a slip law and in the United States Statutes at Large.[5][6] Thereafter, the changes are published in the United States Code. An Act of Congress
Congress
that violates the Constitution may be declared unconstitutional by the courts. The judicial declaration of an Act's unconstitutionality does not remove the law from the statute books; rather, it prevents the law from being enforced. However, future publications of the Act are generally annotated with warnings indicating that the statute is no longer valid law. See also[edit]

Legislation List of United States federal legislation for a list of prominent acts of Congress. Procedures of the United States Congress Act of Parliament Coming into force Enactment Federal Register

References[edit]

^ "About Bills, Resolutions, and Laws". LexisNexis. 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-04. About Public Laws  ^ Bartleby.com Archived March 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.2Infoplease.comCambridge.com[1]Merriam-Webster.com"Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-28. Encyclopædia Britannica ^ See 1 U.S.C. § 106a, " Promulgation
Promulgation
of laws". ^ 1 U.S.C. § 106a, " Promulgation
Promulgation
of laws". ^ 1 U.S.C. § 113, "'Little and Brown's' edition of laws and treaties; slip laws; Treaties and Other International Acts Series; admissibility in evidence". ^ 1 U.S.C. § 112, "Statutes at Large; contents; admissibility in evidence".

External links[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Portal:Acts of the United States Congresses

Look up act of Congress
Congress
in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

http://bensguide.gpo.gov/6-8/glossary.html

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