How a Bill Becomes a Law
Law Making Process
Members of Congress, the Executive Branch, and even outside groups can draft (write or draw up) bills.
2. Introduced in House:
Representative introduces the bill in the House. Only members can introduce bills.
3. Sent to Committee:
The Speaker of the House sends the bill to a committee.
4. Committee Action:
Most bills die here. The committee may pigeonhole, table, amend, or vote on the bill. If bill passes, it goes to Rules Committee.
5, Rules Committee:
It decides the rules for debate, and when the bill will come up for debate.
6. Floor Action:
House debates the bill, and may add amendments. If a majority votes in favor of the bill, it goes to the Senate.
7. Introduced in Senate:
A Senator introduces the bill, which is sent to a committee.
8. Committee Action:
Same procedure as in the House. If the committee majority votes for the bill, it goes to the whole Senate.
9. Bill Called Up:
Majority floor leader decides when the whole Senate will consider the bill.
10. Floor Action:
The Bill is debated, and amendments may be added. If a majority votes in favor of the bill, it is returned to the House.
11. Conference Committee:
If the House rejects any of the changes, the bill goes to a conference committee of members from both houses. It works out a compromise.
12. Vote on Compromise:
Both houses must approve changes made by the conference committee. If approved, the bill goes to the president.
13. Presidential Action:
The president may sign (approve) the bill or veto (reject) it. If approved, it becomes law.
14. Vote to Override:
If the president vetoes the bill, it can still become law if two thirds of both houses vote to override the veto.