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How Many Federal Laws Were Passed Last Year?

The following is a guest post by Shameema Rahman, senior legal research specialist in our Public Services Division.

How a bill becomes a law. Delivered to the chief bill clerk by a page boy, the bill is given a number and sent to the Government Printing Office for printing. William McDermott, chief bill clerk of the house, is shown numbering a bill brought to him by page John Jurgensen. Photograph by Harris and Ewing. (Created 1937 or 1938). Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. //loc.gov/pictures/resource/hec.24079/

How a bill becomes a law. Delivered to the chief bill clerk by a page boy, the bill is given a number and sent to the Government Printing Office for printing. William McDermott, chief bill clerk of the house, is shown numbering a bill brought to him by page John Jurgensen. Photograph by Harris and Ewing. (Created 1937 or 1938). Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hec.24079

The United States Congress passed 115 Public Laws in 2015. The laws are numbered from Public Law 114-1 through Public Law 114-115. The number 114 represents the current congress followed by the numerical order of the law. These public laws also include appropriation bills. Would you like to see more information about congressional activities during the year 2015? Check out the Interim Resume of Congressional Activity which reviews congressional activity from January 6 to December 18, 2015.

It is interesting to compare the number of laws enacted by the U.S. Congress with that of other jurisdictions. For example, in Bangladesh the legislature passed 17 laws in 2015, South Africa passed 23 laws and during its current legislative session (which began in October 2013) Germany has passed 249 laws.

Do you want to view the legislative resources offered by other countries? Our Guide to Law Online site provides links to parliamentary and legislative websites of many countries around the world. If you click on Nations of the World, you will see all the countries in alphabetical order. If you need help using the site, or would like assistance in locating the laws of different countries using their legislative websites or other resources, you can contact us through our Ask a Librarian service.

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