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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
Vote on the Bill cartoon


The Bill is Put to a Vote

  • The bill is read by title only and put to a vote.
  • Members in attendance will vote to pass or not to pass the bill.
  • Members most often vote electronically in the House Chamber using the Electronic Voting System. Members of the Senate cast their votes by non-electronic means.
  • Roll Call votes cast by the U.S. House of Representatives are recorded in the House Journal, the Congressional Record, and posted on the website of the Clerk of the House.
  • Members may vote "Yea" for approval, "Nay" for disapproval, or "Present" to record that they were in attendance but chose not to vote.
  • If a majority of the House votes to pass the bill, the bill is then referred to the Senate to undergo a similar process of approval.
  • The THOMAS website logs the Roll Number for a vote under "Bill Status."
 
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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