[2016] Robert Lunatto: Law Making Proces

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American History
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[2016] Robert Lunatto: Law Making Proces

Law Making Process

The bill beginsLaws begin as ideas. These ideas may come from a Representative or from a citizen like you. Citizens who have ideas for laws can contact their Representatives to discuss their ideas. If the Representatives agree, they research the ideas and write them into bills

Bill is reportedWhen the committee has approved a bill, it is sent or reported to the House floor. Once reported, a bill is ready to be debated by the U.S. House of Representatives.

How a bill becomes a law All laws in the United States begin as bills. Before a bill can become a law, it must be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and the President

The bill is introduced In the U.S. House of Representatives, a bill is introduced when it is placed in the hopper a special box on the side of the clerk’s desk. Only Representatives can introduce bills in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The bill is proposedWhen a Representative has written a bill, the bill needs a sponsor. The Representative talks with other Representatives about the bill in hopes of getting their support for it. Once a bill has a sponsor and the support of some of the Representatives, it is ready to be introduced.

Bill goes to a committee When the bill reaches committee, the committee members groups of Representatives who are experts on topics such as agriculture, education, or international relations review, research, and revise the bill before voting on whether or not to send the bill back to the House floor.

The Bill Is DebatedWhen a bill is debated, Representatives discuss the bill and explain why they agree or disagree with it. Then, a reading clerk reads the bill section by section and the Representatives recommend changes. When all changes have been made, the bill is ready to be voted on.

The Bill Is Voted OnIf a majority of the Representatives say or select yes, the bill passes in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is then certified by the Clerk of the House and delivered to the U.S. Senate.

The Bill Is Sent to the PresidentWhen a bill reaches the President, he has three choices. He can:Sign and pass the bill the bill becomes a law.Refuse to sign, or veto, the bill the bill is sent back to the U.S. House of Representatives, along with the President’s reasons for the veto. If the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate still believe the bill should become a law, they can hold another vote on the bill. If two-thirds of the Representatives and Senators support the bill, the President’s veto is overridden and the bill becomes a law.

The Bill Is a LawIf a bill has passed in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and has been approved by the President, or if a presidential veto has been overridden, the bill becomes a law and is enforced by the government.More Cool StuffThe Apotheosis of WashingtonA Tour of the CapitolBlack Americans in CongressFirst Day of CongressHispanic Americans in CongressView MoreGlossaryPlace your mouse over a word highlighted in blue to see its definition, or look at the full list.For TeachersLooking to bring the U.S. House of Representatives into your Grade School classroom? Visit our For Teachers section for resources, activities, and lesson plans that complement the material on this site.

The Bill Is Referred to the Senatehen a bill reaches the U.S. Senate, it goes through many of the same steps it went through in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is discussed in a Senate committee and then reported to the Senate floor to be voted on.


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