How a Bill Becomes a Law
1. A member of Congress introduces a bill.
2. Committees review and vote on the bill.
The committee may reject the bill and “table” it, meaning it is never discussed again. Or it may hold hearings to listen to facts and opinions, make changes in the bill and cast votes. If most committee members vote in favor of the bill, it is sent back to the Senate and the House for debate.
3. The Senate and the House debate and vote on the bill.
Sometimes, the House and the Senate pass the same bill, but with different amendments. In these cases, the bill goes to a conference committee made up of members of Congress. The conference committee works out differences between the two versions of the bill.
Then the bill goes before all of Congress for a vote. If a majority of both the Senate and the House votes for the bill, it goes to the President for approval.
4. The President signs the bill—or not.
Congress can try to overrule a veto. If both the Senate and the House pass the bill by a two-thirds majority, the President's veto is overruled and the bill becomes a law.
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