Notes on how a Bill becomes a law (very clear and helpful!)

Essay by chrissaJunior High, 9th grade April 2004

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Essential Question: How does a bill become a law?

How a Bill becomes a Law:

I. Introduction

-May only be introduced/sponsored by a member of Congress

-Drafted and given a number ("H0001" or "S0001")

II. Committee

-Collects information, resources, revises (may go to subcommittee)


*Kill (reject immediately or pigeonhole[set aside without consideration])

*Accept (Pass without changes, make changes, or replace)

III. Floor (Full House or Senate)

-Bill read and debated in the house that introduced it

*House of Representatives has strict rules of debate

*Senate has freer debates and may filibuster it (talk until sponsor withdraws) unless clotured, which requires 60% vote to limit Senator to 1 hour of debate


*Ways to vote: voice vote, standing vote, roll-call vote

*Kill or approved

*If approved, bill goes to other house for approval

IV. Conference Committee

-Creates a compromised version of the bill

-Sends back to both houses for approval

V. Final Approval

-After both houses agree on bill, it is sent to the President

-President decides to either:

*Sign/Approve it--->LAW!!!

*Reject it


*Pocket Veto (when he sits it aside; if Congress is not in session, bill dies)

Congress can override vetoes with 2/3 vote in both houses