How Laws are passed

Step 1: The bill is drafted

Step 2: The bill is introduced

Step 3: The bill goes to committee

-When a bill is in the hands of the committee, it is carefully examined and its chances of passage by the entire Congress are determined. 

Step 4: Subcommittee review of the bill

-Subcommittees are organized under committees and have further specialization on a certain topic. The subcommittee may make changes to the bill and must vote to refer a bill back to the full committee.

Step 5: Committee mark up of the bill

-When the hearings and subcommittee review are completed, the committee will meet to make any changes to the bill before recommending the bill to the floor.

Step 6: Voting by the full chamber on the bill

-Once the bill reaches the floor, there is additional debate and members of the full chamber vote to approve any amendments. 

Step 7: Referral of the bill to the other chamber

-When the House or Senate passes a bill, it is referred to the other chamber. This chamber may approve the bill as received, reject it, ignore it or change it.  If an agreement is reached, the committee members prepare a conference report with recommendations for the final bill. Both the House and Senate must vote to approve the conference report.

Step 8: The bill goes to the president

-If the President approves of the legislation, it is signed and becomes law. If the President takes no action for ten days while Congress is in session, the bill automatically becomes law. If the President opposes the bill, they may veto the bill.

Step 9: Overriding a veto

-If the President vetoes a bill, Congress may attempt to override the veto. If both the Senate and the House pass the bill by a two-thirds majority, the President’s veto is overruled, and the bill becomes a law.


~By Teens For Teens~


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How Laws are passed

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