How a Bill Becomes A Law

  1. Someone has an idea
  2. The bill gets introduced in Congress (all tax bills start in the House of Representatives because they are closer to the people).
  3. The bill is then given a title and a number
  4. The bill is sent to a standing committee
  5. Congressional members where the bill is introduced, debate
  6. Voting in Congress
  7. The President gets involved

More to Step Four

The Standing Committee can do one of five things: pass the bill, mark the bill with changes and suggest it be passed, replace the bill with a new bill, ignore the bill and let it die-called pigeonholing, or kill the bill with the majority vote.

More to Step Five

The congressional members have three options: the rules committee can determine terms for the debate, a filibuster can end in 3/5 members vote, or no one can speak for more than an hour.

*filibuster- talking a bill to death

More to Step Six

The House of Representatives and the Senate must pass the same bill and agree on it, and if not, it results in a joint committee.

More to Step Seven

When the bill gets to the President, he has three choices. He can veto the bill (which can be overrode from congress if there is a 2/3 vote in both houses), he can do nothing for 10 days and if congress is in session it becomes a law, if not it dies and becomes a pocket veto, or he can sign the bill into a law.