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Less than 10% of all bills become laws. Why? • Lawmaking is long and complicated. • 100 steps to pass a bill into law • Bills can be delayed, changed, or killed • Sponsors of a bill must be willing to compromise with lawmakers and interest groups. • Must get lots of support to pass • Members of Congress may introduce bills they know have no chance of passing. • Attract attention from media • Satisfy powerful interest groups at home • Help with reelection (can blame other lawmakers and report they took action).
Step 1 • Every Bill starts out as an idea • These ideas can come from Congress, private citizens, or from the White House • Special Interest Groups may also try to influence Congress to write a Bill
Step 2 • Every Bill must be introducedby a Congressman – either a Senator or a House Member • Introducing a bill in House vs. Senate • Every Bill is given a title and number when it is introduced – H.R.1 or S.1
Step 3 • After it is introduced, each Bill is then sent to the standing committee that seems most qualified to handle it.
Step 4 • Committees receive hundreds of Bills and they decide the life or death of these bills • Those that hold merit are sent to a subcommittee to research (public hearings may be held)
Step 5 • Committee meets in a markup session to make changes to the bill (if necessary) • After reviewing the Bill, the committee decides • Pass without changes • Pass it with changes • Kill the Bill
Step 6 • If a Bill is approved by the committee, then it is ready for consideration by the full House or the Senate. • When Bills reach the floor, the members argue their pros and cons
Step 7 • When members of Congress are ready to vote they may do so by • Voice Vote • Standing Vote • Roll-call • Recorded vote • A simple majority is all that is needed to pass a Bill. If either house refuses to pass it, it dies • The Bill must be passed in identical formats in both houses – conference committees may be needed • Sent to president
Step 8 • Presidential Action is the final step • Veto: refuse to sign • Congress can override the veto with a 2/3rds vote in each house – very unlikely • Sign the Bill into Law • Do nothing for 10 days • In session – the Bill becomes a Law
The End http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFroMQlKiag