The Law Making Process: How a Bill Becomes a Law

How a Bill Becomes a Law

  1. Introduction – by a member of Congress
  2.  Committee


  • Will the bill be considered?

No                 the bill will be pigeonholed (ignored) and left to die

Yes                Public Hearings – the public has the opportunity to express their views on the prospective law

Possible further investigation in a sub-committee

3.  Debate and Vote on the floor of the House of Representatives or the Senate

4.  The bill is then sent to the other house, where steps 1-3 will be repeated

5.   Conference Committee – the differences between the two houses are sorted out, then the bill is sent back to both houses for another vote

  • If the bill does not get enough votes the bill dies
  • If the bill gets enough votes the bill is sent to the President to be signed
  1. The bill is submitted to the President
  • If the bill is approved and signed, the bill is now a law
  • vetos the bill, it dies
    • 2/3rd vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate overrides the Presidential veto                  the bill is now a law
  • The President does nothing and
    • Congress is in session, the bill becomes a law
    • Congress adjourns in less than ten days, pocket veto