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  How Laws Are Made

How Does a Bill Become a Law?
Begin
Propose
Introduce
Committee
Subcommittee
Report
Consider
Vote
Refer to Senate
Bill Is Enrolled
Law OR Veto
Veto Override
Introduce a Bill cartoon


Introduction of a Bill

  • Bills can be introduced whenever the House is in session.
  • In the House, bills are officially introduced by placing them in a special box known as the hopper, which is located at the rostrum, or Speaker's platform. In the Senate, a bill is introduced by placing it on the presiding officer's desk or by formally introducing it on the Senate Floor.
  • In the House, a bill clerk assigns the bill a number. House bills begin with "H.R." Resolutions begin with "H. Res.," "H. Con. Res.," or "H. J. Res," depending what type they are. Senate bills begin with "S."
  • The first reading of a bill means the bill's title is read on the House Floor. The bill is then referred to a committee for markup.
  • The Library of Congress then receives an electronic copy of the bill and posts the bill and its status on THOMAS, a public website.

 
Parents & Teachers
Tools for Learning

Did You Know?
A Little Known Fact
High-school-aged Congressional Pages deliver important messages to Members in the House Chamber.

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Currently on the House Floor
History is being made right now on the House Floor!

Glossary Terms
Key Words
Use the glossary to learn key terms.

Act
Amendment
Bill
Calendar
Checks and Balances
Clean Bill
Committee of the Whole
Concurrent Resolution
Constituent
Constitution
Electronic Voting Machine
Engrossed Bill
Enrolled Bill
Hearing
Hopper
Joint Resolution
Jurisdiction
Law
Legislative Day
Line-Item Veto
Markup
Measure
Override (a veto)
Pocket Veto
Private Bill
Public Law
Quorum
Report
Resolution
Simple Resolution
Sine Die
Tabling Motion
Veto



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