Article I of the Constitution created the
House of Representatives and the
Senate which together make up
Article I also grants Congress the
power, among other things, to create
U.S. Senate consists of
2 senators from each state
and the House currentlyGus Bilirakis R-FL 12
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
If that Congressperson
believes it’s a worthy
cause, they will draft a bill
that will be submitted to the
House or Senate.
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
Bill’s almost there…...
Once the bill arrives back on the floor
the House or
it will then be read
to the floor, next a
debate and finally
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
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
If there are changes made to it the second time
around, it gets sent back to the original house of
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.