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How a Bill Becomes a Law Ch. 6 Sec. 4.

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Presentation on theme: "How a Bill Becomes a Law Ch. 6 Sec. 4."— Presentation transcript:

1 How a Bill Becomes a Law Ch. 6 Sec. 4

2 Bills Congress Considers
Congress has more than 10,000 bills introduced each term, but only several hundred pass and become law

3 Two Categories of Bills
Private Bills- concern individual people or places Public Bills- apply to the whole nation

4 Resolutions Resolutions are formal statements that express lawmaker’s opinions Many resolutions do not have the force of law Joint Resolutions are passed by both houses of Congress and become law if signed by the president

5 From Bill to Law To become a law, a bill must be passed in identical form by both chambers of Congress

6 Where do ideas for bills come from?
Private citizens The White House Legislators themselves Special-interest groups: organizations made up of people with common interests

7 Steps in the lawmaking process:
Bill is introduced by a senator or representative Bill is given a title and number Bill is sent to the most appropriate standing committee based on its topic

8 Standing Committee options:
1. Pass the bill 2. Make changes to the bill 3. Replace the original bill 4. “Pigeonhole” (ignore) it and let it die 5. Kill the bill by majority vote

9 If approved by the committee…
Bill goes to the floor of the House or Senate Members argue about Bill’s pros and cons and may suggest amendments The House only accepts relevant amendments The Senate allows unrelated amendments (“Riders”)

10 House Rules of Debate Set by the Rules Committee
Usually includes a time limit

11 Senate Rules of Debate Senators can speak as long as they wish
Senators can filibuster, or talk a bill to death, by holding the floor for hours to delay the vote or force it’s sponsor to withdraw it A filibuster can be stopped by a vote for cloture by 3/5 of the members

12 Voting on a Bill in the House
After debate has ended Bill is brought to a vote on the floor 3 ways to vote: Voice Vote Standing Vote Recorded Vote: recorded electronically

13 Voting on a Bill in the Senate
3 ways to vote Voice Vote Standing Vote Roll Call Vote: respond with “aye” or “no” as their names are called

14 After the vote to pass A bill must pass in identical forms in both houses to become law If there are changes in one house, Bill goes to a conference committee Once passed by both houses it goes to the president

15 The President’s options…
Sign the bill and it becomes law Veto, or refuse to sign Do nothing for 10 days and, if Congress is in session, it becomes law Do nothing for 10 days and, if Congress adjourns, it dies- Pocket veto

16 What if it’s vetoed? A 2/3 vote of each house can override the president’s veto An override is rare: only 106 vetoes have been overridden from 1789 to 2005 See page 201

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