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 or copatrons.
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. Committees are occasionally identified as sponsors of legislation as well. A sponsor is also sometimes called a "primary sponsor." In the Senate, multiple sponsorship of a bill is permitted.
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. A cosponsor added later is known as an "additional cosponsor". Some bills have hundreds of cosponsors, when a person goes and sponsors a committee meeting.
- "Bills Introduced / Bills Referred / Sponsor (CongressionalGlossary.com)". hobnob blog. TheCapitol.net. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- Johnson, Charles. "How Our Laws Are Made", United States House of Representatives (2003).
- 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.”