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Note: heading was previously[[Act of Congress]]. —RuakhTALK 18:30, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Is this a US idiom? Countable? SemperBlotto 07:12, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it is. It is countable, though I'm not sure I've ever heard it in the plural in the idiomatic sense. I've cleaned it up a bit. I would go so far as to assert widespread use in the US, but it should be fairly easy to cite from fiction where there should be fewer literal uses. DCDuringTALK 11:18, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
The definition still seems a bit off to me. It's not the act of Congress that is particularly slow or difficult, but the thing that takes an act of Congress. I would think the colloquial meaning is closer to "an extraordinary measure relative to one's (usually simple) goal." But this is just from introspection. -- Visviva 11:23, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
I finally noticed that. Take a look. The relative scale notion may be inherent in the colloquial use.
There might be another sense, though I am not so sure that it is idiomatic, of a law as an unstoppable force, especially a deus ex machina.