How a Bill Becomes A Law
Let us walk through the journey a bill takes to become a law—from drafting to the oval office. Learn all the steps.
This is the federal process; however, the same general steps also apply to state government.
THE BILL IS DRAFTED
A senator or representative drafts a bill or a joint resolution with the goal of passing it into law.
THE BILL IS INTRODUCED
The bill is introduced in the U.S. Senate or in the U.S. House (or both) and receives a number.
THE BILL IS REPORTED
The committee must approve the bill and send it to the House or Senate floor for debate.
THE BILL IS DEBATED
Members of Congress discuss why they support or oppose the bill
THE BILL IS REFERRED TO COMMITTEE(S)
The committee members analyze and mark up the bill before it can be sent to the House or Senate floor.
THE BILL IS VOTED ON
In the U.S. House, the bill passes with a simple majority (218 of 435) as well as in the U.S. Senate (51 of 100).
THE BILL GOES TO CONFERENCE
If the House and Senate versions of the bill differ, a conference committee must work out those differences and draft a final bill for a vote.
THE BILL GOES TO THE PRESIDENT
The president must sign the bill into law.
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