Here is a quick graphical overview of how a Bill becomes a Law in USA. The following chart shows how a Bill becomes a law in America.
Summary of Bill Becomes a Law
- Step 1: Bill Introduced
- Step 2: Bill Referred to Committee (or debated directly in the Floor)
- Step 3: Committee Debates and Votes on the Bill.
- Step 4: After Bill is voted and Passed in the Committee, its reported to the Floor (Entire Senate or House)
- Step 5: Floor debates and votes on the bill to Pass or Fail.
- Step 6: Same process happens in U.S. House and U.S. Senate
- Step 7: If the bill passed on House is different than Senate, the new committee will debate and resolve the differences
- Step 8: New Modified Bill will be Voted Again (if required)
- Step 9: Bill Reported to President
- Step 10: President Sign the Bill. After President’s signature, bill becomes the Law, which will be implemented and followed.
U.S. House vs U.S. Senate
U.S. Congress, which is equivalent of Parliament in other countries consists of two parts. They are
- U.S. Senate
- U.S. House of Representatives
- 100 Senators in Total
- 6 Year Term per Senator
- 2 Senators per State
U.S. House of Representatives
- 435 House Members
- 2 Year Term
- Number of House Members per state determined by State Population
For a bill to become a law in the U.S.A it must be passed in the Senate and House and signed by the President to become a Law.
Key Points to Remember:
- Not all bill will become a law.
- Some bills don’t even get debated after introduction.
- Some bills pass the House and not the Senate
- Some Bill passes in the Senate, not in the House
- Some Bill passes in Senate and House and President can Veto it and not sign into Law.
- There’s no set timeline or deadline for this process in general.
- Proposed Bill NOT EQUAL to Law.
Here is a short video that explains the process for Kids 🙂