What Is a Proposed Law Called?

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A proposed law is called a bill while under consideration by a legislative body. It does not become an official law until the legislative process is complete, and the bill is ratified.

A draft bill is the first form of a potential law, consisting of the basic language of the bill prior to its discussion and debate. Committees are formed to draft or design a bill for a specific purpose, to consider a bill already being proposed or to develop a bill for multiple legislative bodies at once. Joint resolutions are another name for potential laws, and they are nearly identical to bills. Bills being considered have abbreviations in front of them to signify what legislative body the piece of law originates from, such as H.R. for the U.S. House of Representatives.