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					HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW
In the
beginning…

         Bills can be introduced
          in EITHER the House or
          Senate.
         The only exception:
          Revenue bills, which
          MUST begin in the
          House of
          Representatives
TYPES OF BILLS
   PUBLIC       Apply to the entire nation.

                Ex: Healthcare, Social Security
  PRIVATE       Apply to specific areas or a
                specific group of people.
                Ex: Veteran’s Benefits

   JOINT   Carries the force of law, used
           to propose Constitutional
RESOLUTION
                amendments.
A BILL IS INTRODUCED IN
THE HOUSE BY DROPPING
IT INTO THE “HOPPER”.
After the bill is placed in the
hopper,

it’s numbered,
read and
sent to committee

by the Speaker of the House.
HOW THE SPEAKER CAN
MANIPULATE A BILL
Multiple Referrals--sending a bill to
  multiple committees
Simultaneous referral--several committees
  get the bill at the same time
Sequential referral--sending the bill to one
  committee, then another, then another,
  etc.

GOOD WAY TO KILL A BILL ! ! ! ! !
COMMITTEES
Where the ACTION
is!!!  This is where bills are really
           studied & worked on.
            Committees hold hearings to
           gather information about a bill.
  COMMITTEES

All committees are chaired by a member
 of the majority party.
The majority party has more members on
 each committee.
The chairperson decides when the
 committee will meet & sets the agenda
 for the committee--decides which bills will
 be discussed.
 COMMITTEE ACTION
 Pass the bill as is.
 Kill the bill.
 Rewrite the bill--it goes to the floor as a
“committee” bill.
 Recommend the bill unfavorably.
 Pigeonhole the bill--this means that it sits
in a pile & the committee never gets to it.
DISCHARGE PETITION

 To get your bill out of committee if it’s
  been pigeonholed.
 This forces the committee to address the
  bill & move it on to the next stage.
 You must have a majority of members’
  signatures to get a discharge petition.
  Discharge petitions can ONLY be used in
  the House of Representatives!!!
RULES COMMITTEE

  This is the next step in the House of
   Representatives.
  This is a VERY powerful committee
   because ALL bills go through this
   committee and it decides which bills go
   on to the floor for debate.
  The majority party has a 2 to 1 majority
   on this committee. Double the members
   of the minority party.
RULES
COMMITTEE
OPTIONS
Open Rule--this means that the bill can
be amended on the floor during debate.
Closed Rule- no amendments will be
allowed during floor debate--it must be
passed or killed as is.
No Rule- the bill is dead without a rule of
debate.
FLOOR DEBATE
 IF a bill is given a Rule of Debate
 by the Rules Committee, it is
 placed on the Calendar.
   The Calendar is the order that bills
      will come up on the floor for
      debate.
   -Bills are placed on the Calendar, it’s
   not first-come, first-served.
FLOOR DEBATE
This gives all of the members of the
 House a chance to debate the bill.
There must be at least 218 members
 present. This is a quorum to begin
 debate on a the bill
FLOOR DEBATE

 A bill gets its 2nd reading, then the floor
  is open for debate.
 Each member may speak for up to 1 hour
 When debate is concluded, the bill is
  read for a 3rd time.
THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES VOTES

  If it isn’t a controversial bill, they will use
   a “voice vote”.
        “All in favor ‘Ay’, all opposed ‘Nay’”.
  If it could be a close vote, the House will
   use a “roll- call vote”. This is
   computerized.
If the bill passes, it goes to
 the Senate.
If the bill does not receive
 a majority of votes--at least
 218--it’s dead!! The bill
 must be reintroduced &
 start the process all over :(
THE SENATE

 The bill is referred
  to committee so that
  members of the
  Senate can now
  study the bill.
COMMITTEE ACTION

 The committee in the
   Senate has the same
   options as the
   committee in the
   House.
 They can kill it, pass it,
   rewrite it, amend it or
   recommend it
   unfavorably.
FLOOR DEBATE

 If the bill passes the committee with a
  majority vote, it goes directly to the
  floor of the Senate.
 The Senate does not have the Rules
  Committee like the House.
FLOOR DEBATE

 Floor debate in the Senate is similar to
  floor debate in the House.
 The bill gets its 2nd reading, is debated,
  gets its 3rd reading and is voted on.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
HOUSE & SENATE FLOOR
DEBATE
  Amendments do not have to be related to
   the bill.
  In the Senate, there is no time limit, so
   Senators can filibuster.
  This means that you can “talk a bill to death”.
   Once you have been given permission to
   speak, you can talk about anything.
THE FILIBUSTER
 As long as someone is talking, no business
  can take place.
 The filibuster is used by the minority party to
  get the majority party to compromise.
 The Democrats filibustered Pres. Bush’s
  nominees to federal courts.
 A filibuster can be ended by invoking cloture.
    It takes 60 votes to invoke cloture, so it is VERY
     difficult to end a filibuster.
THE VOTE IN THE SENATE

 Senators also vote with a voice vote or a
  roll call vote.
 The difference between the Senate & the
  House is the Senate’s roll call vote is not
  computerized. The Secretary of the
  Senate calls each Senator’s name--twice.
OPTIONS

  If the bill is passed, in the exact same
   form as passed by the House, the bill
   goes to the President.
OPTIONS

 If the Senate makes a small change in
  the bill, it goes back to the floor of the
  House. If the House approves the
  change, THEN it goes to the President.
 If the House doesn’t approve the bill, it is
  dead
CONFERENCE COMMITTEE

 If the Senate makes significant changes in
    the bill, it is sent to a Conference
    Committee. This committee has
    members of the House & Senate on it.
    They meet & come up with a compromise
    bill.
CONFERENCE COMMITTEE

  The compromise bill is then sent to the
   floor of the House & the floor of the
   Senate.
  If BOTH chambers approve, the bill goes
   to the President.
  If one or both vote the bill down, it’s
   dead!!
TO THE PRESIDENT!!!!

  Once the President receives the bill, he
   has 10 days to take action on the bill.
PRESIDENT’S OPTIONS

  He can sign the bill into law.
  He can veto the bill & it goes back to
   Congress. They can override his veto
   with a 2/3 vote.
  He can do nothing and allow it to become
   a law without his signature if Congress is
   in session.         OR
POCKET VETO

  He can do nothing, if Congress is NOT
   in session, and the bill is dead.
THE END!!!

				
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