The Law

The text of the law is printed by the GPO first in pamphlet form; this is known as a slip law. Slip laws also are available on LexisNexis® Congressional. The GPO organizes each year's slip laws chronologically and prints them in the Statutes at Large.

The United States Code is the official (GPO-published) subject-organized "consolidation and compilation of all the general and permanent laws of the United States" in effect at the time of printing. The phrase "general and permanent laws" explains why, for example, you won't find an appropriation law in the Code—it is neither general nor permanent.

Tip: The two differences between the Statutes at Large and the United States Code are their organization (chronological versus subject) and their coverage (all laws enacted versus only "general and permanent" laws).

LexisNexis Congressional provides the comparable, commercially published version of the Code (the United States Code Service) that includes, in addition to the laws themselves, annotations to court cases interpreting the laws.