Federal Law making Process in Congress Unit


FederalLaw making Process in Congress


The US congress, which comprises of the senate and the House ofRepresentatives, is charged with making laws through a meticulousprocess. The process starts with the drafting of the bill by membersof Congress, the executive or an outside body. The draft bill is thenintroduced in the floor of the house either in the senate chamber orthe house or representative chamber. The bill is then assigned anumber with the initials H.R or S to indicate whether it wasintroduced in the House of Representatives or senate. The bill isassigned to one of the committees in the chamber. Senate has 15committees while the House of Representatives has 22. The bill isthen referred to a sub-committee that studies the bill, holdshearings, debates provisions and if it passes it goes back to thecommittee. The committee deliberates and debates the bill further andif approved sends it to the rules committee in the HR before sendingit to the full house but in the senate it goes to the full housedirectly as there is no rules committee. In the senate, the fullhouse debates the bill and may amend it. Once a bill passes throughthe full house debate in any of the chambers, it is sent to the otherchamber where the process begins anew. However, if version of thebill is different from the other house, then it goes into conferencecommittee. This conference committee consists of members from the twohouses who harmonize the bill before sending it back to theirrespective houses to vote. If it passes, the bill is forwarded to thepresident who can veto the bill, sign it into law or do nothing. Thecongress can overrule the presidential veto by two-thirds vote of asufficient quorum in both houses. If the president takes no actionafter the congress has adjourned its second session, the bill diesand is termed as a pocket veto. Once signed into law, the bill iscodified and printed and put into the regulatory mechanism.


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Senate. 2015.Retrieved online from http://www.senate.gov/legislative/process.htm

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US Capitol. 2015.Retrieved online from