Sponsor (legislative)

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A sponsor or patron is a person, usually a legislator, who presents a bill or resolution for consideration. Those who support it are known as cosponsors (sometimes co-sponsors) or copatrons.


U.S. Congress

A sponsor in the United States Congress is the first member of the House or Senate to be listed among the potentially numerous lawmakers who introduce a bill for consideration. [1] Committees are occasionally identified as sponsors of legislation as well. A sponsor is also sometimes called a "primary sponsor." [2]

In contrast to a sponsor, a "cosponsor" is a senator or representative who adds his or her name as a supporter to the sponsor's bill. An "initial cosponsor" or "original cosponsor" is a senator or representative who was listed as a cosponsor at the time of a bill's introduction, rather than added as a cosponsor later on. [2] A cosponsor added later is known as an "additional cosponsor". [2]

An unlimited number of cosponsors of a bill is permitted. [2] Some bills have hundreds of cosponsors. [3]


  1. "Bills Introduced / Bills Referred / Sponsor (CongressionalGlossary.com)". hobnob blog. TheCapitol.net. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Johnson, Charles. "How Our Laws Are Made", United States House of Representatives (2003).
  3. Fitch, Brad. “Media Relations Handbook for Agencies, Associations, Nonprofits, And Congress” (TheCapitol.Net 2004): “Some bills have hundreds of cosponsors, since members can easily add their support to any bill introduced and sometimes do it verbally without notifying staff.”

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