How a bill become a law

How a bill become a law

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  • Step 1: Introduce a Bill 
  • The bill can come from companies and citizens , but only the congress can introduce it.
  • Step 2: The bill is assigned to the Committee  
  • The bill is assigned to the committee The Committee is both "The Senate" and "The House"
  • The Committees can do one of two things: They “mark-up” (edit) the bill so it will pass on the floor. They can also “pigeonhole” or kill the bill in committee.
  • Step 3 & 4: The bill is reported to the floor/ The Bill is Debated and Voted On in the House
  • If the bill is passed by the committee, it is sent to the whole House of Congress for presentation and vote.  The Speaker determines which bills are discussed and for how long.
  • Votes are done electronically in the House. This is a role call vote.
  • Step 5 & 6: Bill Goes to the Senate / The Bill is Debated and Voted On in the Senate
  • Once a bill is passed in the House of Reps, the bill is sent to the US Senate.  Committees hold hearings and make changes to the bill. The committee can ‘report” the bill to the Senate floor.
  • In an effort to convince people to either pass or kill the bill, Senators give speeches and debate. If a Senator doesn’t want a bill to pass they can use a filibuster, which is a stalling tactic the Senate can use to delay voting. 
  • Step 7: Both Houses must Pass the bill 
  • A simple majority in both houses is needed to pass the bill (51%). In the House: 218 needed to control the House. In the Senate: 51 senators needed to pass the bill (and control the Senate) .
  • Step 8: The bill becomes a law
  • If the president vetoes the bill, both Houses can reconsider the bill. Two-thirds (67%) of both Houses are needed to override the President’s veto. In the House: 369 needed for override. Senate: 67. If president signs the bill, it is a federal law that each state must follow.
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