Bills, Joint Resolutions, Concurrent Resolutions, and Simple Resolutions
Bills are the usual form in which legislation is proposed. Although thousands of bills be introduced each year, few are enacted into law and most never receive serious consideration. If not enacted into law, the bill and resolution die at the end of a Congress – the fate of about 95% of those introduced.
If a bill makes it through all of the stages, then it becomes a law. U.S. laws can be found in the following sources.
Slip Law → Statutes at Large → U.S. Code
Slip law - designated by Congress and order that the law was passed. Example P.L. 111-24 P.L. means Public Law. 111 is the 111th Congressional Session. 24 is the twenty-fourth law passed during the 111th Congress
Statutes at Large - Slip laws are then compiled into the Statutes at Large which includes indexing. Example The Statutes at Large citation for P.L. 111-24 is 123 Stat. 1734
U.S. Code - Newly passed laws are then codified so that similar laws appear near each other. The U.S. Code cite for P.L. 111-24 is 15 U.S.C. 1601. Some laws are codified in multiple sections of the U.S. Code depending upon the topic they cover.