How does a bill become a law at the national level?. 1-3. Bill to Law- What is a bill?. A bill is an idea that may or may not become a law. Members of either the US Senate or the US House of Representatives can propose bills at the National level of government.
Example of a BillFlag Bill
Anne Frank BillEqual Rights BillWar Bill
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There are many committees in the House of Representatives and the US Senate. Some of the more powerful committees include (click on any below to see their website):
Ways and Means
Education and Labor
House Armed Services
7. The Speaker of the House is the person in charge of the political party with the most seats in the House of Representatives. Today, the Democrats control the House and Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker
After the report a committee decides on whether or not to pass the bill on to the entire House of Representatives during the mark-up hearing, in other words, the committee can recommend that the entire House of Representatives debate the advantages and disadvantages of the bill. They also typically send a report explaining why the bill should be passed from the committee’s majority. There may also be a an explanation from the committee’s minority explaining why it should not be passed.
For example, if a the bill mandate every student to take a national test on each subject they take in high school it would probably be sent to the Education Committee by the Speaker of the House. The Education Committee chairperson would then send it to the Secondary Education sub-committee to review and report on. Only after the subcommittee reviewed the bill would the entire committee meet to discuss its merits, hear testimony from the public and decide whether or not to mark the bill up to the entire House of Representatives.
Often times bills are introduced at the same time by a member of the US House of Representatives and a member of the US Senate. Either way the bill must begin in the committee it is assigned to by the Majority Leader in the US Senate.
Unlike the House of Representatives the bill will not go before the Rules Committee. In the Senate there are very few rules. As a result Senators can add many amendments and riders (laws or appropriations having little to do with the actual bill) to the bill. Occasionally Senators are very opposed to a bill and decide to hold up Senate debate by filibustering the bill (delaying any action on a bill by talking a bill to death- the longest filibuster was by South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond who spoke for over 24 hours straight in opposition to the 1959 Civil Rights bill). A filibuster can not be stopped unless 60 members of the US Senate agree to end the filibuster.
Bill to Law in Greater Details
Live Footage of Congress debating whether or not children should receive health care
Senator Clinton Questions General Petraeus on the War in Iraq