Joint Resolution Law and Legal Definition

Joint resolution is a resolution passed by both houses of Congress which becomes legally binding when signed by the Chief Executive or passed over the Chief Executive's veto. A joint resolution is often used when Congress needs to pass legislation to solve a limited or temporary problem. Joint resolutions are generally used to authorize small proportions, to provide continuing appropriations when annual appropriations bills have not yet been enacted, to create temporary commissions or other bodies, to create temporary or one-off exceptions to existing law, such as joint resolutions providing a day other than January 6 for counting electoral votes and to declare war. Joint resolutions are also used to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Resolutions proposing constitutional amendments must be approved by two-thirds of both houses. Such resolutions do not require the president's signature, but instead become law when they are ratified by three-fourths of the states.