How a Bill Becomes Law

Much of the public receives its "education" from the media, social media, friends, or family. Most of the time the information given by the mainstream media is severely canted, or edited in such a way to cloak facts or generate ambiguity. Under the 2nd Amendment, there are no current controls over the "Freedom of the Press" component; therefore as educators, we at Command Presence ultimate goal is to present facts leaving it up to the individual to formulate his (or her) own idea/s.

That said, today's topic revolves around how a Bill becomes law in the United States. There is a lot of misinformation and rhetoric spread about what the President can, or cannot do. Understand the process of creating the bill and getting overall horsepower behind it to ultimately get to vote and to the President's desk is quite the journey. The steps on how Bills become law are listed below. Take this information and arm yourself with the knowledge necessary to not only educate others. But, to keep the levels of misinformation and inculcation of disproportionate reporting is minimal.

Bill Process

1. A member of Congress introduces a bill.

When a senator or representative introduces a bill, it is sent to the clerk of the Senate or House, who gives it a number and title. Next, the bill goes to the appropriate committee.

2. Committees review and vote on the bill.

Committees specialize in different areas, such as foreign relations or agriculture, and are made up of small groups of senators or representatives.

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.

Separately, the Senate and the House debate the bill, offer amendments and cast votes. If the bill is defeated in either the Senate or the House, the bill dies.

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.

If the President approves the bill and signs it, the bill becomes a law. However, if the President disapproves, he can veto the bill by refusing to sign it.

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.

David Scalise MSCS, MSPA

Thousand Oaks, CA 91362


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