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How Bills Become Laws: The Legislative Process

As in any society founded on a solid legal basis, laws have paramount importance in the American political system. The legislative process on the federal level is meant to ensure that every bill receives proper consideration in both Congress chambers before being passed. While the process mostly – and unsurprisingly – concerns the legislative branch and two chambers of Congress, the President also has a say in the matter.

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In order for a bill to take form, at least a single member of the House of Representatives should sponsor it. After that, the House committee analyzes the bill to evaluate its potential benefits, drawbacks, and applicability. If the committee decides the bill is good enough to put it to vote, then the House votes on it. If the bill gets simple majority support in the House – that is, at least 218 representatives – it moves so the Senate. The Senate also appoints a committee to study the bill and, if the verdict is positive, votes on it with the same requirement of a simple majority of 51 votes for passing. After that, the bicameral committee reviews the House and Senate version of the bill and passes it to the President.

Upon receiving a bill approved by Congress, the President has ten days to use one of the two options. If the President supports the bill, then it is sine and becomes law. Otherwise, the President can veto a bill and send it back to Congress explaining the changes needed. Congress can overcome a presidential veto by a two-thirds majority in both chambers, but it is fairly hard, and, thus, controversial bills usually end up as compromises.

In short, the legislative process in the United States includes multiple steps. The committees study the bill and vote for or against it first in the House and then in the Senate. If supported, the bill moves to the President, who can either sign or veto it, and then Congress has a choice to either make changes or override the veto with a two-thirds majority in both chambers.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 27). How Bills Become Laws: The Legislative Process. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/how-bills-become-laws-the-legislative-process/

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StudyCorgi. "How Bills Become Laws: The Legislative Process." October 27, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/how-bills-become-laws-the-legislative-process/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "How Bills Become Laws: The Legislative Process." October 27, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/how-bills-become-laws-the-legislative-process/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'How Bills Become Laws: The Legislative Process'. 27 October.

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