How a Bill becomes a LAW

A bill begins as a idea.

A Senator or Representative must introduce a bill before Congress will consider it.

Every bill is given a title and a number when it is submitted.

1. Committee Action

After a bill introduced, it is sent to the standing committee that is related to the subject of the bill.

Standing committees have LIFE-AND-DEATH power over bills.

2. The Committee Can…

Pass the bill

Mark up the bill with changes and suggest that it be passed

Replaced the original bill with a new bill

Ignore the bill and let it die (which is called “pigeonholing” the bill)

Kill the Bill outright by majority vote.

3. Rule of Debate

In the House, the Rules Committee sets up terms fro debate.

In the Senate, Senators can speak as long as the wish.

Filibuster - A tactic for defeating a bill in the Senate by talking until the bill’s sponsor withdraws it.

4. Action by the President

After a bill is approved, it goes to the President.

  1. President sign the bill and declare it a new law.
  2. The President may veto, or refuse to sign the bill
  3. The President may also do nothing fro ten days
  4. If Congress is in session, the bill becomes a law without the President’s signature.

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