Concurrent resolution

A concurrent resolution is a resolution (a legislative measure) adopted by both houses of a bicameral legislature that lacks the force of law (is non-binding) and does not require the approval of the chief executive (president). Concurrent resolutions are typically adopted to regulate the internal affairs of the legislature that adopted them, or for other purposes, if authority of law is not necessary (such as in the cases of awards or recognitions).[1]

United States Congress

In the United States Congress, a concurrent resolution is a resolution passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate but is not presented to the President and does not have the force of law. In contrast, joint resolutions and bills are presented to the President and, once signed or approved over a veto, are enacted and have the force of law.

Concurrent resolutions are generally used to address the sentiments of both chambers or to deal with issues or matters affecting both houses. Examples of concurrent resolutions include:

Before the Supreme Court of the United States ended the practice in its decision in Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha 462 U.S. 919 (1983), concurrent resolutions were sometimes used to override executive actions via a mechanism known as the legislative veto.

If both houses of Congress were to censure a President (which has never happened – both the House and Senate have done so individually, but so far never together) the action would, according to parliamentary procedure, be in the form of a concurrent resolution, as a joint resolution requires the President's signature or veto and has the power of law. A concurrent resolution does not have the power of law, nor does it require action by the executive to take force.

Concurrent resolutions originating in the Senate are abbreviated S.Con.Res. and those originating in the House are abbreviated H.Con.Res.

Examples of concurrent resolutions

Concurrent resolutions in pop culture

In Season 3 Episode 12 of The West Wing, President Josiah Bartlet accepts a censure via a concurrent resolution in relation to hiding the fact that he has multiple sclerosis.


  1. Beth, Richard (December 2, 2010). "Bills and Resolutions: Examples of How Each Kind Is Used" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  2. "S.Con.Res 8". United States Congress. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  3. "H.Con.Res. 25". United States Congress. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  4. "S. Con. Res. 10 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
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