WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR)—In order for a bill to become a law, it must be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and the president.
All bills start as ideas. These ideas may come from a member of Congress, or a citizen. Once the bill is written, it needs support from a sponsor and other lawmakers before it can be introduced.
Introducing a bill to a committee
Once a member of the House or Senate introduces a bill, it is then usually referred to the appropriate committee within the House or Senate. The committee will do research and revise the bill before it is formally recommended to the entire chamber in either the House or Senate.
Bringing a bill to the floor
Once this happens, the bill is brought to the entire floor for consideration. This is where members can debate the bill and recommend changes. When all the changes have been made, then the bill is ready to be voted on.
If the majority of the chamber votes yes, then the bill passes that chamber. It is then sent to the other chamber where it goes through the exact same steps. It is introduced in a committee and then sent to the floor to be voted on.
Sending a bill to the president
Once it gets approval in both the Senate and the House, it is sent to the president’s desk for signature.
If the president signs the bill, then it becomes law.
However, the president does not have to sign the bill, instead the president can veto the bill which would send it back to Congress.
If the House and Senate believe the bill should become a law, they can hold another vote. If two-thirds of Representatives and Senators support the bill, the president’s veto is overridden, and the bill becomes law.
Source: Rocky Mountain News
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