Instead of just giving a number, let me break down the state of every bill proposed in Congress in 2009. As you may know, Congress operates on two-year cycles and bills don’t carry oveer from cycle to cycle. 2009 was the first year in the “111th Congress” cycle.
Enacted Laws: 123 bills have been enacted in this cycle by being passed by both houses of Congress and then being signed by the president. (This includes some joint resolutions but I’m just calling them bills on this count.)
Passed Both Chambers: 21 bills have passed both chambers but haven’t become law. There are a few reasons this can happen. In some cases, the House and Senate have passed different versions of the same bill and need to confer to produce a single final bill. In a handful of over cases, the House and Senate adjourned shortly after passing the bill, and so they have not gotten around to formally sending the bill to the President. Finally, we have the bill, , which President Obama pocket-vetoed. It was his first veto, but it was also .
Passed One Chamber: 318 bills have passed either the House or Senate but not the other, and so are waiting for the second house of Congress to pick it up.
Failed: One legislative item, , failed on its vote on passage in its originating chamber. This is relatively unusual because leadership avoids votes on bills they believe will not pass.
Failed Suspension Vote: 4 bills were voted on and failed in the House under what’s called “suspension of the rules” which is a technical term for when they try to move noncontroversial legislation forward under a two-thirds vote. Bills that fail this way can be tried again under a simple majority vote later on.
Introduced: 6,585 bills have been introduced and are awaiting a committee recommendation before being considered by the House or Senate as a whole.