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How a Bill Becomes a Law

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on 14 March 2014

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Transcript of How a Bill Becomes a Law

It all starts with an
Idea. . .
All
laws
start out as an
idea
, either from
citizens
or from a
representative.
These ideas can be "healthy" for a country because they can help make changes to meet the needs of the citizens.
By:
Melanie Handley
Date:
3/11/14
Step #1
Step #2
Step #3
Step #4
The Idea is
Drafted
The citizen then contacts and meets with a representative to discuss the idea. If the representative agrees with the citizen's idea, he/she will then write a drafted
bill
of the idea.
How a Bill Becomes a Law
into a
Bill
The Bill is
Introduced
The bill is then introduced to the House or the Senate. It does not matter which chamber (House/Senate) you send the bill to first because both of the chambers will get the bill anyway. While in the either the House or the Senate, the bill is read aloud to all of the representatives and the Speaker of the House or the Senate will send the bill to one of the their own
standing committees
.
to the either the
The Bill is Sent to
Committee
When the bill gets to the Standing Committee, the members of the committee research, review, and revise the bill before voting on whether the bill should be sent back to The Floor or not.
Step #5
Step #6
Step #7
Step #8
The Bill is
Reported
to the
Floor
After the Committee approves the bill, the bill is reported(sent) to the The Floor. The bill will be debated about by the U.S. House of Representatives once it is reported. The debates can go on for an unlimited time, unless a
cloture
is requested.
The Bill is
Debated
The Representatives of both the Senate and the House consider the pros and cons of the bill in a
Conference Committee
(a type of
Joint Committee)
, and explain why they disagree with the bill, or agree with it. The representatives can recommend
changes
to the bill, and once all changes have been made, the bill can then be voted on separately in each House.
There are
3 ways
for voting on a bill in
Congress
#1: Voice Vote-
The Speaker of the House asks the representatives who oppose the bill to say "no" and the representatives
#2: Division Voting-
The Speaker of the House/Senate gets those who support the bill to stand and be counted, and then asks who oppose the bill to stand up and be counted.
#3: Recorded Voting-
The representatives record their votes on an electronic voting system.
The Representatives
Vote
on the Bill
If the bill passes one of these methods of voting, then the bill is certified by the Clerk of the House or the Senate and sent to the other house.
The Bill is
Passed On
to the Next House
While in the other house, the bill goes through the same process as it did in the other one:
Discussion
Standing Committee
Floor Action
Conference Committee
Voting
If the bill passes these steps in both Houses(The Senate and the House), the bill is sent to the
President
.
Step #9
The Bill is
Delivered
to the President
The President has 3 choices that he can make when he gets the bill:
#1:

He can sign the bill and pass it, and the bill automatically becomes a law.
#2:

He can
veto
(refuse to sign the law)
the bill.
#3:
He can
pocket veto
the bill
(where he keeps the bill and does not veto it or sign it, and if Congress is in session, the bill becomes a law after 10 days, but if the Congress is not in session, the bill will not become a law).
The Bill Becomes a Law
The bill becomes a law
if:

--
The President signs the bill when he receives it.
--
The President vetoes the bill but Congress overrides his veto with a Congressional Override.
--
The President pocket vetoes the bill when Congress is in session for 10 days, and the bill automatically becomes a law.

Step #10
Terms/Definitions
Proposition:
a petition that asks for a certain law.
Act:
a Public Law or a Private Law that is enacted by Congress.
Bill:

an idea that someone thought up that they think should be turned into a law.
Law:
rules that a country uses as guidelines to direct people by putting a punishment over the law if it is broken.
Standing Committee:
a permanent committee that continues to work from session to session in Congress.
Veto:

the President's refusal to sign a bill or resolution that Congress has approved.
Seniority System:
the system in which the years of service of a representative are taken into great consideration when assigning committee members.
Terms/Definitions
Line-Item Veto:
to veto only a specific part of a bill.
House Rules Committee:
a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. Considers all bills reported.
Pocket Veto:
the President's power to kill a bill that he doesn't like, if Congress is not in session, by not signing it in 10 days.
Joint Committee:
a committee that is made up of representatives from both the House and the Senate.
Filibuster:

a tactic for defeating a bill in the Senate by talking until the bill's sponsor withdraws it.
Conference Committee:

a committee designed to resolve arguments on a certain bill. This committee is appointed by the House and the Senate and is usually composed of the Senior members of the standing committees.
Cloture:

it is used to limit debate on a bill in the Senate.
Public Hearing:
the method that committees use to collect and analyze information in the early parts of legislative superintending.
Rider:
an addition added to a bill to help resolve conflict between the pro-bill and anti-bill representatives.
House
or the
Senate
Full transcript