SCMS Civics - Chapter 6, Section 4

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Edited version of a presentation prepared by the Leon County Schools Social Studies Dept.

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SCMS Civics - Chapter 6, Section 4

  1. 1. How A Bill Becomes a Law
  2. 2. Step 1 <ul><li>Every Bill starts out as an idea </li></ul><ul><li>These ideas can come from Congress , private citizens or from the White House </li></ul><ul><li>Special Interest Groups may also try to influence Congress to write a Bill </li></ul>
  3. 3. Step 2 <ul><li>Every Bill must start out and be introduced by a Congressman – either a Senator or a House Member </li></ul><ul><li>Every Bill is given a title and number when it is introduced – H.R.1 or S.1 </li></ul>
  4. 4. Step 3 <ul><li>After it is introduced, each Bill is then sent to the standing committee that seems most qualified to handle it. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Step 4 <ul><li>Committees receive hundreds of Bills and they decide the life or death of these bills </li></ul><ul><li>Those that hold merit are sent to a subcommittee to research (public hearings may be held) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Step 5 <ul><li>The subcommittee will report to the standing committee who will decide if the Bill should </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pass without changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have changes and pass it along </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Replace the Bill with a alternative one </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kill the Bill </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Step 6 <ul><li>If a Bill is approved by the committee, then it is ready for consideration by the full House or the Senate . </li></ul><ul><li>When Bills reach the floor, the members argue their pros and cons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Senate (only) can add riders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Senate also allows filibusters which can only be stopped by a 3/5ths vote for cloture </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Step 7 <ul><li>When members of Congress are ready to vote they may do so by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice Vote </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standing Vote </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roll-call or today’s Computerized Vote </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A simple majority is all that is needed to pass a Bill. If either house refuses to pass it, it dies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Bill must be passed in identical formats in both houses – conference committees may be needed </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Step 8 <ul><li>Presidential Action is the final step </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Veto: refuse to sign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Congress can override the veto with a 2/3rds vote in each house – very unlikely </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sign the Bill into Law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do nothing for 10 days </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In session – the Bill becomes a Law </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Out of session – the Bill dies – POCKET VETO </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The End

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