Common Legislative Terms
(from the Academy’s Grassroots Advocacy Guidebook 2015)
A bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.
Formal proposal to change the language of a bill after it has been introduced.
Provides funding for government agencies and programs.
Establishes or continues a Federal agency or program, establishes conditions under which the program operates and authorizes or approves funding. An authorization bill does not provide the actual funding, which is done in the appropriations bill (above).
Two chambers/houses in a legislative body (as in the House of Representatives and the Senate comprising the U.S. Congress).
A proposed law introduced during a session for consideration by the legislature and identified numerically in order of presentation. Bills that begin with “HR” originate in the House and bills that begin with “S” originate in the Senate. Ex: HR853.
Submitted to Congress by the President, usually in January for the Fiscal Year beginning the following October. These are recommendations by the President about how to fund federal spending; they do not have the force of law.
A resolution of the House and Senate that sets spending and revenue limits for the upcoming fiscal year. It does not require presidential approval.
Representatives or Senators who formally sign on to a measure. Any member of either house may add his or her name to a bill, indicating strong support for the proposal.
Both the House and Senate have a number of standing committees with specific purview over policy issues. Each committee and every subcommittee is composed of members from both parties.
An identical bill introduced in the other house of Congress.
A committee composed of both Representatives and Senators that resolves differences between a bill that has passed both the House and Senate but with different provisions. Both House and Senate must approve the final conference committee version prior to being sent to the President for approval.
Refers to both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate; e.g., Congress meets in the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
The twelve-month period on which the budget is planned. The federal fiscal year begins October 1 and ends September 30 of the following year.
Refers to whether an amendment is relevant to the subject matter already being considered in a bill. The Rules of the House prohibit non-germane amendments while the Senate Rules generally, but not always, permit nongermane amendments.
Refers to the floor of the House Chamber or the Senate Chamber where representatives and senators go to vote, debate bills and make speeches. The floor has very restricted access.
A committee meeting convened for the purpose of gathering information on a specific subject or considering specific legislative measures.
Refers to the Majority Party, the political party that has the most members in the House or the Senate.
A committee meeting in which members offer amendments to a bill.
Refers to the Minority Party, the political party that has less than 50% of the membership in the House or the Senate.
An effort by Congress to reverse a Presidential veto. It requires a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and the Senate.
A simple majority of the members of a full committee or the full House or Senate. A quorum is needed to begin conducting official business.
The interpretation and implementation of laws. Regulations are written by the departments and agencies that implement the laws in order to clarify the legislation and put it into practice. Exactly how legislation plays out in practice is determined by the regulations that accompany it.
Each two-year Congress is broken down into two sessions, the 1st Session is held in odd-numbered years and the 2nd Session is held during even-numbered years.
The legislator who introduced a piece of legislation and advocates its passage.
The act of the President disapproving a measure. The President’s veto may be overturned if 2/3rds of both the House and Senate vote to override the veto.
Federal Agency Acronyms
AHRQ- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (part of HHS)
AoA- Administration on Aging
ATTTB- Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (part of US Department of Treasury)
CBO- Congressional Budget Office
CDC- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (part of HHS)
CFSAN- Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (part of FDA)
CMS- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (part of HHS)
CNPP- Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (part of USDA)
CR- Continuing Resolution (mechanism for temporarily funding government)
EPA- Environmental Protection Agency
ERS- Economic Research Service (part of USDA)
FAO- Food and Agricultural Organization (part of the United Nations)
FDA- Food and Drug Administration
FEC- Federal Election Commission
FNB- Food and Nutrition Board (part of IOM)
FNS- Food and Nutrition Service (part of USDA)
FSIS- Food Safety and Inspection Service (part of USDA)
GAO- Government Accountability Office
HAB- HIV/AIDS Bureau (in HRSA)
HELP- Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
HHS- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
HRSA- Health Resources and Services Administration (part of HHS)
IHS- Indian Health Service (part of HHS)
IOM- Institute of Medicine (part of NAS)
MCHB- Maternal and Child Health Bureau (in HRSA)
NAS- National Academy of Sciences
NCHS- National Center for Health Statistics (part of CDC)
NIH- National Institutes of Health (part of HHS)
OMB- Office of Management and Budget (part of the White House)
PHS- Public Health Service
USDA- United States Department of Agriculture
USPTF- United States Preventive Services Task Force (part of AHRQ)
WHO- World Health Organization (part of the United Nations)
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Acronyms
Academy- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
ANDPAC- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Political Action Committee
AP- Affiliate President
BOD- Board of Directors
CPC- Consumer Protection and Licensure Coordinator
DPG- Dietetic Practice Group
EAL- Evidence Analysis Library
FNCE®- Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo®
HOD- House of Delegates
LPPC- Legislative and Public Policy Committee
MNT- Medical Nutrition Therapy
NSC- Nutrition Services Coverage
PAL- Policy and Advocacy Leader
PIA- Policy Initiatives and Advocacy
PPC- Public Policy Coordinator
PPP- Public Policy Panel
PPW- Public Policy Workshop
RR- Reimbursement Representative
SPR- State Policy Representative
SRS- State Reimbursement Representative