How a Bill Becomes a Law: The Journey of a Bill

How a Bill Becomes a Law: The Journey of a Bill

In this video titled "How a Bill Becomes a Law: The Journey of a Bill," viewers can learn about the process that a bill goes through to become

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Slide1How a Bill Becomes aLaw The Journey of a Bill Q3tI6I

Slide2Congress Makes Federal Laws Bill: a proposed law presented to the House or Senate for consideration.  Usually deals with a single matter, could include a RIDER dealing with an unrelated matter.  Follow the bill as it moves through Congress

Slide3Introduction of the Bill The bill can come from a  variety of sources:  Individual citizens,  Special interest groups  Corporations,  Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)  Only a member of Congress can introduce the bill  A bill can start in either House.

Slide4The Bill is Assigned to Committee Each House has standing committees that consider their bills.  Each committee has a chair (from the Majority) and a ranking member (from the minority).  They “mark-up” (edit) the bill so it will pass on the floor.  They can also “pigeonhole” or kill the bill in committee.  The bill must also pass through the House Rules Committee.

Slide5The Bill is Reported To the Floor If the bill is passed by the committee, it is sent to the whole House for debate and vote.  The committee has “reported the bill favorably to the floor.”  The Speaker determines which bills are discussed and for how long.  Committee chairs and ranking members give out time to debate to other members.

Slide6The Bill is Debated and Voted On in the House Bills can be considered by the whole House at once: called “Committee of the Whole”  Votes are done electronically in the House. This is a role call vote.  A tote board on the wall shows the tally.  Red = oppose  Green = Agree  Yellow = Abstain  Votes can be taken by voice “yeas and nays” or a “teller vote” where members file past the sergeant at arms.  deo/popup?videoId=91387&v ideoChannel=2603&pos=15. 6

Slide7The Bill Goes to the Senate The bill is sent to the US Senate.  A Senate version is written with the letter S. and a number.  House bills have HR.  As in the House, the bill must be referred to the appropriate standing committee.  Committees hold hearings and make changes to the bill.  The committee can ‘report” the bill to the Senate floor.

Slide8The Bill is Debated and Voted On in the Senate The Senate Majority Leader determines which bills are scheduled, when and for how long.  As in the House, the bill must be referred to the appropriate standing committee.  Debate in the Senate is unlimited.  Filibusters (talking bill to death) can be used by the minority to block bills.  h?v=gZA77x- b8vE&feature=related  3/5 (60) of the Senate must agree to end debate (this is called “cloture”)  The Senate Rules committee is much weaker than the House’s.

Slide9Both Houses Must Pass the Bill A simple majority in both houses is needed to pass the bill (51%).  In the House: 218 needed to control the House.  In the Senate: 51 senators needed to pass the bill (and control the Senate).

Slide10Differences Between Houses Must Be Reconciled Each house passes its own bill.  Any differences must be ironed out and made into one bill.  The bill is considered by a conference committee, made up of both House and Senate members.  They negotiate and compromise and send the combined bill back to both houses.  A vote on the “conference report” must be taken and passed by both Houses.

Slide11The Bill is Sent to the President The president can sign the bill if he wants it to become law.  He can include “signing statements” that say how the law should be enforced or if parts will not be enforced.  The president can veto or reject the bill.  He must include his reasons and recommendations for correction.  The president can choose not to act on the bill.  If Congress is in session, the bill becomes law after 10 days.  If Congress is not in session, the bill dies after 10 days.  This is called a “pocket veto.”

Slide12The Bill Becomes Law If the president vetoes the bill, both Houses can reconsider the bill.  Two-thirds (67%) of both Houses are needed to override the President’s veto.  In the House: 369 needed for override. Senate: 67.  If president signs the bill, it is a federal law that each state must follow.

Slide13Pork Barrel Spending Pork Barrel Spending:  an unflattering term to describe spending projects that benefit a particular member’s district that are buried deep in appropriations bills.  The huge list of federal projects, grants, and contracts available to cities, businesses, and colleges and institutions in a congressional district  These projects are hidden in mandatory appropriations bills so they are guaranteed passage and to hide them from the general public and even other members of Congress.  Why?  Members do this to stay popular with voters and reward those that give them $ for their campaigns  