GAO Glossary of Terms and Definitions (September 2005)

Joint Resolution

A form of legislation (designated with S.J. Res. or H.J. Res.) that is either:

(1) A congressional action typically used in dealing with matters such as a single appropriation for a specific purpose, increasing the statutory limit on the public debt, or continuing appropriation. There is no real difference between a bill and a joint resolution; both require a majority vote and become law in the same manner, that is, by bicameral enactment and signature of the President.

(2) A congressional action used to propose amendments to the Adoption of a joint resolution to propose a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority vote by both the Senate and the House and is not presented to the President for approval. A proposed amendment becomes effective only when ratified by three-fourths of the states.

(See also Continuing Appropriation/Continuing Resolution. For a distinction, see Concurrent Resolution on the Budget.)

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