How a bill becomes a law
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How a bill becomes a law

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How a bill becomes a law

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How a bill becomes a law


Bill is drafted

An idea is written as a bill

Can be written by:

A member of the House

A member of the Senate

Proposed by POTUS

An outside group



Bill is introduced into one house of Congress

Only a member of the House can introduce into the House

Only a member of the Senate can introduce into the Senate


Committee Assignment

A bill is referred to a committee in the house that it was introduced into

Bills are assigned to a committee that deals with the content contained in the bill


Committee Action

Most bills die here

The committee debates the bill

Committee adds, subtracts, or amends the bill

The committee decides if the bill has enough ability to move forward in the process

If it does, the committee recommends the bill for floor action


Floor Action

The bill is debated on the floor of the house that it was introduced in

The bill is voted on

If the bill does not receive a majority, it is defeated


Introduced into the other house

When the bill receives a majority in the house that it was introduced in, it moves to the other house

The bill is introduced and sent to committee in the new house


Committee Action

The bill goes to committee and the same process happens in the new house


Floor Action

Following committee action, the bill is debated on the floor

The bill is voted on


Conference Committee

When a bill passes both houses, it goes back to the original house it was introduced in

If the bill did not change much, it is


on in the original house

If the bill changed a lot, a Conference Committee is formed with members from both houses

The Conference Committee creates a compromise bill between the two houses


Vote on Compromise

Both houses vote on the compromise bill created in the Compromise committee

If the bill receives less than a majority, it dies

If the bill receives more than a majority, it is sent to POTUS


Presidential Action

POTUS can sign the bill into law

POTUS can veto the bill sending it back to Congress

POTUS can do nothing and it becomes a law

If POTUS does nothing within 10 days before the end of the legislative session the bill dies, known as a Pocket Veto


Veto Override

If POTUS vetoes a bill, it isn’t necessarily dead

If 2/3 of both houses of congress vote to override the veto, the bill becomes law


Create a law

On the index card provided, create a federal law (a law that applies to the entire United States)

There will be a grade advantage if your law passes as well as a grade penalty if it does not