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The Legislative Process. Introduction of a bill (proposed legislation) Passed by both houses of Congress Signed by president or president’s veto is overridden.

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Presentation on theme: "The Legislative Process. Introduction of a bill (proposed legislation) Passed by both houses of Congress Signed by president or president’s veto is overridden."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Legislative Process

2 Introduction of a bill (proposed legislation) Passed by both houses of Congress Signed by president or president’s veto is overridden Becomes a “session law” or “public law” Incorporated into statutory code

3 A Bill Is Introduced A bill is introduced by a sponsor(s) in one or both houses of Congress. A bill is assigned a bill number (H.R. 14, 107th Cong., 1st Sess. (2001)). This bill number usually follows the proposed legislation through hearings, amendments, congressional committees, etc., until enactment or the end of the current legislative period.

4 A Bill Is Introduced A companion bill may be introduced in the other house of the legislature at any time. Committee hearings may be held and amendments to the bill may be made. If the committee votes favorably on the bill, a committee report in support of the bill accompanies the bill back to the floor in many jurisdictions. A bill may die in committee and never reach the full house for vote.

5 Federal bill S. 904 (Leave No Child Behind Act of 2001), sponsored by Senators Dodd, Wellstone, and Kennedy, as it appears in the Congressional Bills – 107 th Congress database. Bill S. 940 Sponsors Short Title

6 A Bill Becomes Law When the bill passes one house, it is sent to the other house for consideration. The other house may approve and pass the bill to the president in identical form. More likely, the other house will propose a variation of the bill and both houses must negotiate a compromise. When both houses pass the bill in identical form, it is sent to the president for a signature or veto.

7 A Bill Becomes Law If signed (or not vetoed within 10 days), the bill becomes a “session law” or “public law.” If the president vetoes the bill, the veto may be overridden by two-thirds majority in both houses. (If the president takes no activity on the bill at the end of a legislative session the bill is, in effect, vetoed. This is called a “pocket veto.”) The public law is renumbered using the number of the congressional session and the numerical order in which the law was enacted: P.L and P.L are the 14th and 15th bills to be enacted by the 107th session of Congress.

8 A public law may add a section (statute) in the statutory code change language in a section (statute) repeal a section (statute) of the statutory code re-number a section (statute) do all of the above

9 An enacted law is first published officially by the Government Printing Office as an individual slip law and sent to government depository libraries and other libraries that subscribe to these publications. Public laws are published in compiled volumes in chronological order in The Statutes at Large, the official government publication. There is a two to four-year lag in publication of these volumes. Public Laws Are Published

10 The U.S. Code Congressional and Administrative News ® (USCCAN), published by West, issues monthly pamphlets including newly enacted laws. The monthly USCCAN pamphlets are reissued in bound volume after each congressional session. Public laws are also published in the USCCAN and US-PL (United States Public Laws) databases on Westlaw. Public Laws are Published

11 A slip law as it appears on Westlaw in the US-PL database shortly after enactment. There are also archived public laws in the US-PL-OLD database, which contains public laws from 1973 to the previous session of Congress.

12 A Public Law Is Codified The public law then changes the statutory code to: bring all laws on the same topic together eliminate all repealed or expired statutes unite amendments with the original statute This process is called codification the United States Code is divided into 50 titles, often called codes (see next screen) Title 11 is the Bankruptcy Code Title 26 is the Tax Code

13 United States Code is organized in broad subject categories called titles. The 50 titles are in rough alphabetical order. The Legislative Process

14 Each title is further divided into individual sections, which contain the actual text of the statutes. ( The words section and statute are usually synonymous.)

15 A single public law may amend or affect many sections in different titles of the Code. The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2001 or P.L amended sections in Titles 42 and 15 of the USCA.

16 Public Law , the Intelligence Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2001, has been codified in both Title 50 and Title 21 of the United States Code. The USCA-POP (USCA Popular Name Table) database on Westlaw shows where a public law section has been codified in the United States Code Annotated. Sections in the public law Codification in the U.S. Code

17 Bill Passes Congress or State Legislature President or Governor Signs Bill Session Law/ Public Law Statutory Code Summary of the Legislative Process Codification occurs when the language of the session or public law changes the statutory code in some way.

18 Question Which of the following is a true statement? 1.Each public law amends a single statute. 2.A slip law is the final version of a statute. 3.Codification is the process in which sections of public laws amend, add to, or repeal the relevant portion(s) of the United States Code. 4.The president’s veto of a bill may be overridden by a majority of both houses.

19 Question Which of the following is a true statement? 1.Each public law amends a single statute. 2.A slip law is the final version of a statute. 3.Codification is the process in which sections of public laws amend, add to, or repeal the relevant portion(s) of the United States Code. 4.The president’s veto of a bill may be overridden by a majority of both houses.


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