UCB Libraries


Definition of Document Status Codes

These Definitions of Document Status Codes Used in the Bills Database were extracted from the complete online version of the GPO WAIS Search Manual. The definition is under the abbreviation.


Congressional Bills Glossary
Definition of Document Types
H.R.    House Bill
S.      Senate Bill
A legislative proposal before Congress.  Bills from each house
are assigned a number in the order in which they are introduced, from 
the beginning of each Congress (first and second sessions).
"Public bills" deal with general questions and "private bills" deal with 
individual matters such as claims against the Government.

Joint Resolutions-   H.J.Res. House Joint Resolution S.J.Res. Senate Joint Resolution   A legislative proposal requiring 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 it is introduced, from the beginning of each two-year Congress (first and second sessions). There is no real difference between a bill and a joint resolution. The latter is generally used in dealing with limited matters, such as a single appropriation for a specific purpose. A joint resolution has the force of law if approved. Joint resolutions also are used to propose amendments to the Constitution. These do not require Presidential signature, but become a part of the Constitution when three-fourths of the states have ratified them.
Concurrent Resolutions-   H.Con.Res. House Concurrent Resolution S.Con.Res. Senate Concurrent Resolution   A legislative proposal that must be passed by both houses, but does not require the signature of the President and does not have the force of law. These are generally used to make or amend rules applicable to both houses or to express the sentiment of the two houses. (For example, a concurrent resolution is used to fix the time of adjournment of a Congress. It could also be used to convey the congratulations of Congress to another country on the anniversary of its independence.)  
Simple Resolutions-   H. Res. House Simple Resolution S. Res. Senate Simple Resolution   A legislative proposal that addresses matters entirely within the prerogatives of one house or the other. It requires neither the passage of the other house nor the signature of the President and does not have the force of law. Most resolutions deal with the rules of one house. They are also used to express the sentiments of a single house. (For example, a simple resolution could be used as condolences to the family of a deceased Member or to give "advice" on foreign policy or other executive business.)
Reports-   H. Rpt. House Report S. Rpt. Senate Report   A document setting forth a committee's explanation of its action regarding legislation referred to it. House and Senate reports are assigned a number which includes the number of the Congress during which they are published, i.e., H. Rpt. 103-40 refers to a report created in the House during the 103d Congress. Conference reports are numbered and designated in the same way as regular House and Senate Reports. Most reports favor a bill's passage although a bill can be reported without recommendation. When a committee report is not unanimous, the dissenting committee members may file a statement of their views, called Minority Views and referred to as a Minority Report. A reported version of a bill will include language referencing the applicable report number.  

Definitions of Common Document Status Codes

(ath)    Agreed to House
(ats)    Agreed to Senate
This term is used to describe concurrent or simple resolutions. 
These types of bills are not "passed" in the manner of a regular
bill; they are "agreed to in the house."

  (cdh) Committee Discharge House (cds) Committee Discharge Senate   A motion to discharge a committee from considering a bill. The motion or petition, requires signatures of 218 House Members or two-thirds of the Senate.
  (cph) Considered and Passed House (cps) Considered and Passed Senate   After debate, a bill is voted on and passed by one of the two congressional chambers.
  (eah) Engrossed Amendment House (eas) Engrossed Amendment Senate   The final copy of a bill as passed by one chamber with the text as amended by floor action and certified to by the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate.
  (eh) Engrossed Bill - House (es) Engrossed Bill - Senate   The final copy of a bill as passed by one chamber and certified to by the Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate.
  (enr) Enrolled Bill   The final copy of a bill which has been passed in identical form by both chambers. It is certified to by an officer of the house of origin (House Clerk or Senate Secretary) and then sent on for signatures of the House Speaker, the Senate President, and the U.S. President. An enrolled bill is printed on parchment.
  (ih) Bill Introduced - House (is) Bill Introduced - Senate   In the Senate, any number of Senators may join in introducing a single bill and in the House a limit of 25 Members can cosponsor a bill.   Many bills are actually committee bills and are introduced under the name of the chairman of the committee or subcommittee as a formality.
  (pch) Placed on Calendar House (pcs) Placed on Calendar Senate   Pending legislation before committees of either chamber which is assigned a calendar number determining when it will be considered before the chamber.
  (rah) Referred w/Amendments House (ras) Referred w/Amendments Senate   An engrossed bill is passed from one chamber to the other requesting concurrence.
  (rch) Reference Change House (rcs) Reference Change Senate   Change in the referral of a bill which requires unanimous consent of the members of the house in question.
  (rdh) Received in House (rds) Received in Senate   Legislation accepted for consideration in one of the congressional chambers.
  (rfh) Referred Bill - House (rfs) Referred Bill - Senate   When introduced, a bill is directed to the committees which have jurisdiction over the subject with which the bill is concerned. (Bills are referred by the Speaker in the House and the Presiding Officer in the Senate.)
  (rh) Reported bill - House (rs) Reported bill - Senate   A committee presents a report of its findings and recommendations to the parent chamber after examining a bill. The version of the bill as reported will include changes, if any, recommended by the committee.