How a Bill Becomes a Law By: Crystal and Kailey Period: 1

Step 1: Laws begin as ideas. These ideas can come from a representative or a citizen, like us.

Step 2: When a bill is written it needs a sponser. The representative talks to other representatives in order to get their support. Once it gets a sponser it is ready to be introduced.

Step 3: In the U.S. House of Representatives, a bill is introduced when it is placed in the hopper. Then the clerk assigns it a number that begins with H.R. Once the reading clerk reads it to all the representatives, the speaker of the House sends the bill to one of the House standing committees.

Step 4: Once the bill reaches the committee members, they review, research, and revise the bill before voting on whether or not to send the bill back to the House floor. If the committee members would like more information, the bill is sent to the a subcommittee. The subcommittee closely examines the bill and expert opinions are gathered before they send it back to the committee for approval.

Step 5: Once the committee has approved a bill, it is sent to the house floor where it will be debated by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Step 6: Through the debation for a bill, the Representatives discuss the bill and explain why they agree or disagree with it. After this, a reading clerk reads the bill aloud section by section and the Representatives recommend changes. After all these changes have been made, the bill is ready to be voted on.

Step 7: The three methods of voting on a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives:

1.) Voice vote - The Speaker of the House asks the Representatives who support the bill to say "aye" and those that oppose it say "no".

2.) Division - The Speaker of the House asks those Representatives who support the bill to stand up and be counted, and then those who oppose the bill to stand up and be counted.

3.) Recorded - Representatives record their vote using the electronic voting system. Representatives can vote yes, no, or present (if they don't want to vote on the bill).

Of the majority of the Representatives say or select yes, the bill is passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. Then it is certified by the clerk of the House and delivered to the U.S. Senate.

Step 8: The bill goes through many of the steps it went through in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is discussed in a Senate committee and then reported to the Senate to be voted on. Senators vote by voice. If the majority of the Senators say "yea", the bill passes in the U.S. Senate and is ready to go to the president.

Step 9: Once the bill reaches the president, he has three choices. He can:

1.) Sign and pass the bill — the bill becomes a law.

2.) Refuse to sign, or veto, the bill — The bill and the president’s reason for the veto is sent back to the U.S. House of Representatives and if the House and the U.S. Senate still believe the bill should become a law, they can hold another vote on the bill. If 2/3 of the Representatives and Senators support the bill the president’s veto is overridden and the bill becomes a law.

3.) Do Nothing (Pocket veto) — if Congress is in session the bill automatically becomes a law after 10 days and if not, the bill does not become a law.

Step 10: If the bill has passed the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate and has been approved by the president, the bill becomes a law and is enforced by the government.

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