How a Bill becomes a Law

by Bailey Davis

Idea to Bill

Every Bill starts with an idea. The ideas for new bills come from private citizens, the White House, or from special interest groups.


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 powers over bills.

Committee can...

· 1.Pass the Bill

· 2. Mark up the bill with changes and suggest that it be passed

· 3. Replace the original bill with a new bill

· 4. Ignore the bill and let it die (which is called “pigeonholing” the bill)

· 5. 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 tactic defeating a bill in the senate by talking until the bill’s sponsor withdraws it.

Action by President

· After a bill is approved it goes to the President

1. President sign the bill and declare it a new law

2. The President may veto, ro refuse to sign the bill

3. The president may also do nothing for 10 days

4. If congress is in session, the bill becomes a law without the President’s signature.