Act of Congress

An Act of Congress is a statute enacted by the United States Congress. It can either be a Public Law, relating to the general public, or a Private Law, relating to specific institutions or individuals.

The term can be used in other countries with a legislature named "Congress", such as the Congress of the Philippines.

Public law, private law, designation

Private Law 86-407
Public Law 86-90 (STATUTE-073-1-2), Page 212

In the United States, Acts of Congress are designated as either public laws, relating to the general public, or private laws, relating to specific institutions or individuals. Since 1957, all Acts of Congress have been designated as "Public Law X-Y" or "Private Law X-Y", where X is the number of the Congress and Y refers to the sequential order of the bill (when it was enacted).[1] For example, P. L. 111-5 (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) was the fifth enacted public law of the 111th United States Congress. Public laws are also often abbreviated as Pub. L. No. X-Y.

When the legislation of those two kinds is proposed, it is called public bill and private bill respectively.