How a Bill Becomes a Law

Law Making Process

1. Bill is Drafted:

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.

http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=4702