An act is a piece of legislation passed by the House or the Senate.  An act becomes a law once it is passed by both chambers and signed by the president. 


  A bill is a proposed law.  Bills introduced in the Senate begin with an S., and bills introduce in the House of Representatives begin with an H.R.

Concurrent  Resolution

 A concurrent resolution is a legislative action used to amend rules of, express joint feelings of, or deal with matters affecting both chambers (H. Con. Res. and S. Con. Res.).  Concurrent resolutions are passed by both chambers but are not submitted to the president and are not law. 

Simple Resolution 

 Simple resolutions are used to express the feelings or non-binding positions of a single chamber and/or deal with that chamber’s rules or internal affairs.   Simple Resolutions do not require the approval of the other chamber.  They are referred to as H. Res. (House) or S. Res. (Senate).

Greengerg, E. (1996). The house and senate explained: the people’s guide to congress. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 

United states senate: glossary. (2011). Retrieved from