How Does a Bill Become a Law?

Follow this simple 7-step process to find out!

Step One: An Idea is Born

The first step towards a new law is a simple idea. This may be about traffic or littering. Any idea works!

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Step Two:

The new bill is introduced into Congress. If it is a tax bill, it will be sent to the House of Representatives due to Article I.

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Step Three:

The bill is given a title and a number. This gives the bill a "name" to keep Congress organized.

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Step Four:

The bill is sent to a standing committee. The standing committee can do one of the following: ignore the bill and let it die, mark the bill with changes and suggest it be passed, replace the bill with a new bill, kill the bill with majority voting, or pass the bill.

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Step Five:

The bill is introduced to Congress for debate. The congressional members have three options they can use: standing vote, roll-call vote, or a yay or nay vote.

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Step Six:

Congress now votes. The House and Senate must pass the same bill. There are three types of votes in this process: voice vote, roll-call vote, and a standing vote.

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Step Seven:

The bill goes to Mr. President! He may then veto the bill, pass the bill into law, or do nothing for 10 days. If the president vetoes the bill, it may go back to Congress. The veto can overridden with a two-thirds vote in Congress.

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