How a Bill Becomes Law
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How a Bill Becomes Law

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How a Bill Becomes Law How a Bill Becomes Law Presentation Transcript

  • How a Bill Becomes Law
  • Review Article I of the Constitution created the House of Representatives and the Senate which together make up Congress.  Article I also grants Congress the power, among other things, to create laws.  U.S. Senate consists of 2 senators from each state and the House currentlyGus Bilirakis R-FL 12  th District
  • How does a law start Every law begins as a bill.  When a group of citizens, organized groups or political parties has an idea for a law they submit it to either their Senator or their Representative.  If that Congressperson believes it’s a worthy cause, they will draft a bill that will be submitted to the House or Senate.  View slide
  • We have a Bill, now what? Once presented to Congress, the bill is assigned a number and sent to a committee who verifies the bill’s merit.  The committee then assigns a specialized subcommittee to investigate and revise.  Finally the whole committee will debate and vote on the bill as to whether it should be sent to the floor.  View slide
  • Bill’s almost there…...  Once the bill arrives back on the floor of the House or Senate it will then be read to the floor, next a debate and finally it will be voted on.  If it passes it moves from the House to Senate or Senate to House and the
  • House v Senate Despite the outline of the process being the same in both there are some drastic differences in the way things are done.  In the House before a bill reaches the floor, it is decided how long the debate will last.  In the Senate there is no time limit, which may allow a senator to talk a bill to death, also called a filibuster. However if 3/5ths of the Senate approves they may end the debate which is called cloture. 
  • Bill’s feeling deja vu If the bill makes it through it’s second journey of Congress in the identical form it may be sent to the President.  If there are changes made to it the second time around, it gets sent back to the original house of Congress.  If they don’t agree, then a conference committee made up of both Senators and Representatives is called to make suitable changes. 
  • Nothing can stop Bill now, can it? After both houses have approved and sent the bill to the President, where he may sign it into a law.  However, as part of the checks and balances the President may also veto or ignore the bill.  If ignored for 10 days the bill becomes a law unless Congress adjourns, then it’s pocket vetoed which effectively kills the bill.  If the President chooses to veto the bill, it gets sent back to Congress where the veto can be overridden if both houses pass it with a 2/3rds vote. 