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SCMS Civics - Chapter 6, Section 4
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SCMS Civics - Chapter 6, Section 4


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

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

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