Bill to Law

By: Ondrea Lundy and Megan Boyer

How a Bill becomes a Law

Every Bill starts out as an idea from a private citizen, the White House, or from Special-interest groups. After a Bill is introduced, it is sent to the standing committee that is related to the subjects of the bill. The committee can: pass the bill, markup a bill with changes and suggest that it be passed, replace the original bill with a new bill, ignore the bill and let it die, kill the bill outright by majority vote. Bills approved in committee are ready for consideration by the full house or senate. When Bills do reach the floor of the house or senate, the members argue their pros and cons and discuss amendments. At times they take advantage of this custom to filibuster, or talk a bill to death. After a Bill is debated, it is brought to a vote. Voting in the house is done in one of three ways. The simplest is a voice vote, there all those in favor say "Yea" and all those who oppose say "No." Standing vote, all those in favor stand, then all those who oppose stand after they sit. The third is a recorded vote, in which members' votes are recorded electronically. The senate has three methods of voting: a voice vote, a standing vote, and a roll call. In a roll-call vote, senators respond "aye" or "No" as their names are called. After a bill is approved, it goes to the president. The president may veto, or refuse to sign, the bill. The president may also do nothing for 10 days. At that point, if congress is in session, the bill becomes a law without the president's signature.
How a bill becomes a law