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What is a joint resolution?

H.J. Res. House Joint Resolution
S.J. Res. Senate Joint Resolution

A joint resolution, H.J. Res. or S.J. Res., is a legislative proposal that requires the approval of both Chambers and the signature of the President, just as a bill does, in order to have the force of law.

  • Joint resolutions from each House are assigned a number in the order in which they are introduced. Joint resolutions may be introduced in either Chamber and generally are used for limited matters such as continuing or emergency appropriations or the designation of a commemorative holiday.
  • There is little practical difference between bills and joint resolutions, although only a joint resolution may be used to propose amendments to the Constitution. In the case of a Constitutional amendment, the signature of the President is not required, but three-quarters of the states must ratify the proposed amendment before it can become part of the Constitution.
  • Prior to the 77th Congress (1941), laws enacted by joint resolutions were numbered separately from bills in the Statutes at Large, but since that time there has been no distinction made between laws that were introduced as bills and laws that were introduced as joint resolutions.

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