Admission to the Union in the United States seems to be a vaguely laid out procedure as described in Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution:

New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

I could not find details on what the minimum vote threshold is needed in both houses to successfully send an Admission Resolution to the President's desk to sign. I have found an article on California's admission, but the votes tabulated there seem way beyond any minimum threshold.


What is the vote threshold in both houses of congress to send an Admission to the Union resolution to the President?

2 Answers 2


Admitting a new state to the Union requires only a normal joint act of Congress which is passed the same as any other bill. The threshold is therefore a majority in the House and a majority in the Senate (unless it is filibustered, in which case 60 votes are required), plus the signature of the President:

In effect, they made it surprisingly easy to add new states. Creating a new state is arguably the only irreversible process in the entire Constitution. Yet, it requires no more than federal law to achieve it. ... Statehood bills in Congress are considered as any other legislation


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    – JJJ
    Jan 29, 2021 at 0:06

Since the constitution does not specify a different threshold, the threshold is the default, a simple majority, with the additional requirement that a quorum be present. The details of counting votes other than "yes" and "no," and of the procedure for determining the presence of a quorum, are determined by each house.

In other words, the threshold for passing such a resolution is the same as for passing a bill for (initial) presentation to the president for signature.

  • 1
    Is the legislation to admit a State a bill or a joint resolution? Is the vote subject to cloture (ie can a minority of 40 block the bill before it it reaches the final vote) In fact, in are Joint Resolutions generally subject to cloture rules?
    – James K
    Jan 26, 2021 at 22:11

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