How A Bill Becomes A Law

By: Levi McCracken

Part 1

1. The way to get things started in the bill making process is to have an idea.

2. After a person has an idea that bill is introduced in congress. (All tax bills start in the House of Representatives because they are closer to the people.)

3. After it is introduced in congress, the bill is given a number and a title.

4. After that, it is sent to a standing committee. They can do a number of things once it is introduced:

  • They can pass the bill
  • They can replace the bill with a new bill
  • They can mark the bill with changes and suggest that it should be passed
  • They can ignore the bill and let it die (called pigeonholing)
  • They can lastly kill the bill with a majority vote

Part 2

5. Now, the congressional members where the bill is introduce debate about the bill. The senate may attach riders if they so choose. The rules committee determines the terms for the debate. Since people get to discuss the bill, they get to speak. Speaking for a prolonged period of time is called a filibuster. A filibuster can end if three- fifths of the members vote for the debate to end. No representative may speak for more than an hour.

6. After this happens, the vote moves to congress. The House and Senate must pass the same bill in order for it go through. If this cannot happen, they have a joint committee to discuss the issues each side has with the bill. There are several types of votes that happen during this time They Are:

  • Voice Votes: members vote yes or no out loud
  • Standing Votes
  • Roll Call Votes: recorded votes

Part 3

7. Lastly, if the President does not like the bill he has the right to use the Presidential Veto. Now, if Congress does not like the decision Congress can override it with a two-thirds vote from both houses. If nothing is done by the President for ten days and Congress is in session, then it becomes law. If congress is not in session, it dies. This is called a pocket veto. The last thing that happens is the bill is signed into law.

Sign the bill into law