10 How A Bill Becomes A Law

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10 How A Bill Becomes A Law

  1. 1. Objective: To understand how a law is passed in Congress How: By guided note-taking via PowerPoint
  2. 2. <ul><li>Thousands of bills are introduced during each term of Congress, but most of them never become laws </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Only a Senator or Representative can introduce a new bill </li></ul><ul><li>Every bill must have three readings </li></ul><ul><li>The first reading the bill is introduced </li></ul><ul><li>It is given a number and a title and then sent to a committee for further study </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>First the committee studies the bill </li></ul><ul><li>They can kill the bill or sent it to a subcommittee for further study </li></ul><ul><li>If the bill is good they can send it back to the floor to be debated </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes before sending it they can amend the bill </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>The bill is read aloud to the members of the House or Senate </li></ul><ul><li>Then members debate about the bill </li></ul><ul><li>Changes and amendments can be made during the debate </li></ul><ul><li>In the house there are strict rules to control the debate </li></ul><ul><li>Debates are timed and the Speaker of the House control the debate </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>There is no time limit for debate </li></ul><ul><li>They can “talk a bill to death” </li></ul><ul><li>This is called a filibuster and they are used to stop the senate from voting on the bill </li></ul><ul><li>The longest filibuster lasted 24 hrs by Senator Strom Thurmond in 1957 to stop the passing of a civil rights law </li></ul><ul><li>Senate rules make it difficult to stop a filibuster </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>The bill is printed and given a third reading </li></ul><ul><li>Only the title of the bill is read </li></ul><ul><li>The bell rings to call members to vote </li></ul><ul><li>A majority vote is needed to pass a bill </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>After a bill is passed it is sent to the other house of Congress to go through the same process again </li></ul><ul><li>Both houses must pass the same version of the bill </li></ul><ul><li>A Conference Committee will make changes and then a final vote is held in both houses on the final version </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Once Congress is in agreement the bill is sent to the President </li></ul><ul><li>The President has four options </li></ul><ul><li>1. sign the bill into law </li></ul><ul><li>2. Can keep the bill for ten days and do nothing and it will become law </li></ul><ul><li>3. He can veto the bill and explain why </li></ul><ul><li>4. He can use a pocket veto; if Congress adjourns before the ten days are up and the President doesn’t sign the bill dies </li></ul>

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