Ben’s Guide to US Government

The United States constitution has given all of the countries legislative powers to the Congress. This is the primary lawmaking body will be composed of two houses, the Senate and House of Representatives. This is called the bicameral legislature. Members of the Congress, namely the Senators and Representatives, have the power to introduce bills. Bills are legislative proposals which would undergo a series of approvals within the Congress and contains only a specific subject. It becomes a law if it is accepted by the Congress and by the President.

The President does not have the power to write bills, he can only propose and let a member of the congress do the rest. Approved bills by the Senate, House of Representatives and the President can be passed as a law. After the introduction of a bill, members of the congress will vote to decide whether to adopt or reject it. If for some basis the President discards a bill, the Congress may still proceed in passing it. The U. S. Constitution has granted the Congress to supersede the rejection. This is possible if a two thirds majority will vote for the override of the rejection. This is applicable to both the House and the Senate.

The legislative process in the Senate and the House of Representatives is essentially the same. The following will be a step by step analysis of the process. The first step in the legislative process would be the introduction of a bill. In this step, the bill is conceptualized by at least one member of the congress and then introduces it to the house. A legislative number is assigned to the bill. After the introduction, the first and second readings are done. The next thing to be done with the bill is for the house speaker to appoint it to a certain committee in order for the bill to be deliberated on.

The subcommittee would then on deliberate the bill and they would ask for the opinions of the people concerned with the said bill. If the deliberation went well the committee would then release the bill along with their commendation. After the bill’s release it would be included on a calendar or the term used for the bills which had been waiting for action. The house rules committee would now have to take charge of the bill. They could issue numerous actions such as recommending for a pass voting of the bill and they could also limit discussions for the said bill.

Bills which have no problem in terms of disputation could easily be passed by means of common consent. The bill would then on undergo a complete reading and a serious deliberation by the floor of the house. A third reading is necessary if any form of modification had been done to the bill. If the bill succeeded in passing the deliberation it could then on proceed to the senate. A senator who would be in charge of the bill is necessary in order for the bill to be properly introduced to the Senate. Again, the bill would have to be appointed to a certain committee.

The officer in charge would appoint one of the sixteen committees of the Senate to take care of the bill. The committee in charge would then on deliberate the bill and they hold the power on whether to release the bill or not. If the Bill is released it would went to the Senate floor for another deliberation. If argumentation for the bill does not occur, the bill could then be voted on. At least a simple majority or 51 out of 100 is necessary in order for the bill to be passed. The bill would then be passed to a conference committee composed by at least one member from each house.

If a bill is amended it would have to be returned back t6o the houses to ensure their approval. If the bill is approved it would have to be printed by the GPO. GPO stands for Government Printing Office. The bill would then have to undergo a process called enrolling in order for the house speaker and for the vice president to sign it. The last person to study the bill is the president. The president could then decide whether to approve or to veto the bill, the president’s decision however should only take 10 days.

Even if the president vetoes the bill, the bill would still have a chance to become a law. However, two-thirds of votes from both the Senate and the House are necessary in order for the Bill to become a law.


Johnson, Charles W. "How Our Laws Are Made. " Ed. US House of Representatives. 1st ed: US Government Printing Office, 1998. Miller, Lorraine C. "Learn About the Congress. " United States House of Representatives, 2007. Superintendent of Documents. "How Laws Are Made. " Ben's Guide to US Government, 2001.