I asked a question about how a bill can die after being reported by committee as favorable, and receiving no subsequent vote in the receiving chamber. After some further digging, I found that it died after a Star Print was ordered.

What is a Star Print, and how does it kill a bill?


A Star Print is just a corrected version of a bill.

Star prints are corrected editions of Congressional publications identifiable by stars printed at the lower left-hand corner of their title pages or covers. Sometimes the words 'star print' also appears adjacent to the star. Star prints take precedence over the original print of a report or document. 1


Star Prints: If there is an error in the original text of an enrolled bill, an amended text called a "Star Print" will be published. The Star Print supersedes the original. 2

If you compare the actual text of each version (original, star print), you'll see that the major difference is more co-sponsors and the results of the committee ("Reported by Mr. MCCAIN, without amendment"). It's possible there were typos or other minor fixes I didn't catch, but the fact they issued an updated version of it doesn't have anything to do with whether or not it died.

As for this specific bill, as of December 2005, it was still on the calendar as item 183. A year later... still there. So the congressional session expired without it ever coming up for a vote.

I'm pretty sure this is not unusual, but there's no way to tell why.

  • Thanks, that's interesting. So, could one answer to my other question be that if a session of Congress doesn't get to an item, it will not be carried over to the next session and die? May 20 '14 at 18:46
  • @Louis - Thanks. I noticed that the URLs said temp, but I didn't check back on them. And yes, no bill ever carries over from session to session (but note that sessions are two years long). There's news articles around about particular bills which congressmen "reintroduce in every session of congress, but never come to a vote" or something like that.
    – Bobson
    May 20 '14 at 18:54
  • It died because it opens the door to slavery reparations that would be far more costly to people who donate a lot of money to political campaigns than this would. May 21 '14 at 21:29
  • @Chad - Given that this bill doesn't seem to do anything, I can't see how it would cost anything at all, let alone open the door to spending money later. Source?
    – Bobson
    May 21 '14 at 21:37
  • @bobson - You should probably reread the bill if you think it does nothing. May 22 '14 at 13:16

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