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Bill image

How A Bill Becomes A Law

 

 

Take the Bill to Law Quiz when you have finished with this section.

The process of making laws is a complicated one. Any citizen can suggest an idea for a law. It must, however, go through the legislature in order for it to become a law that citizens must obey.

A bill is an idea for a law.To have a bill become a law, an idea must be proposed to a member of the House of Representatives or Senate. This member of the House or Senate makes sure the bill is written up properly and submits it for consideration.

The bill is then sent to a committee that would be most concerned about the bill. If it is a bill concerning spending money, it would go to a finance committee, for example.

Meetings are held to study the bill and to get input not only from the representatives or senators, but also from the public at large. If the committee thinks it is a good bill, it will be put on the House or Senate calendar for a vote. If the more than half of the House approves the bill that started there, then it is sent to the Senate for the same process. If a bill that started in the Senate is approved by more than half of the Senate it is then sent to the House of Representatives for the same process.

Once the bill has been approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives,it is sent to the President. If the president approves the bill, he signs it and it becomes a law.

If the president does not agree with the new law he can veto, or vote against the new law. The law would then be sent back to the Senate and House of Representatives. If the House of Representatives and the Senate approve the bill by a two-thirds majority, the bill becomes a law, even if the president vetoes it.

The only time this would not happen is if the Supreme Court says the law would be unconstitutional. Then the law would have to be reworked to agree with the Constitution or the Constitution itself would have to be amended or changed to accept the new law.