How Do Bills Become Laws?
About the How Do Bills Become Laws? Lesson
This lesson explains the process by which a bill can become a law.
• to describe the steps a bill must go through in order to become law;
• to identify what constitutes a majority in Congress;
• to define a filibuster and a veto.
Bills are proposed laws that are introduced in Congress. Every year, thousands of bills are proposed before Congress, but only a small percentage of them actually become laws. There are several steps that happen before a bill can become a law. A bill begins as an idea for solving a problem. This idea can come from a special interest group, from the president, from a senator or representative, or from a citizen that has sent a letter to a senator or representative.
A senator or representative then prepares the bill, which means they write an explanation of it. A bill that is written by a senator is first introduced in the Senate. A bill written by a representative is first introduced in the House of Representatives. After the bill has been written and introduced, it is assigned to a standing committee which studies it and then does one of the following: