How a Bill Becomes a Law

Taylor West and Tanylia Caudle


The ideas for new bills come from Private citizens, the White House, or from special interest groups.

Introduction by

  • A senator or representative must introduce a bill before congress will consider it
  • Every bill is given a title and a number when it is submitted

Committee Action

  • After a bill is introduced it is sent to the standing committee that is related to the subject of the bill.
  • Standing committees have life-and-death power over bills.

The Committee Can....

  • Pass the bill
  • Mark up the bill with changes and suggest that it be passed
  • Replace the original bill with new bill
  • Ignore bill and let it die
  • Kill the bill outright by majority vote

Rule of Debate

  • In the House, the Rules Committee sets up terms for debate
  • In the senate, senators can speak as long as they wish
  • Filibuster-a tatic for defeating a bill in the Senate by talking until the bills sponsor withdraws it

Action by President

  • President sign the bill and declare it new law
  • President can veto or refuse to sign the bill
  • President may do nothing for 10 days
  • If congress is in session, the bill becomes a law without the Presidents signature