Unit 8 Chapter 7, Section 1

Essential Question
Why do
you think only
10% of all bills
become a
1.Explain the
between Public
and Private Bills
I Can:
2.Analyze, Evaluate,
and Explain how a
bill becomes a law
Bills and Resolutions
1. Private Bills- deal
with individual
people or places
2. Public Bills- general
matters and apply
to the whole
 Deals with temporary or
unusual matters.
1. Simple- matters affecting
only one House of Congress
2. Joint- may correct any error
in an earlier law or to propose
constitutional amendments;
when signed by president has
the force of law
3. Concurrent- statement of a
position that requires the
actions of both houses
working together
Riders and Christmas Trees
 In the House, an amendment
added to a bill must be
germane- or relevant to the
 In the Senate, you can have a
Rider- addition or amendment
to a bill that may have
nothing to do with the bill’s
 Riders can lead to what is
known as Christmas Tree billsa bill to which many irrelevant
riders have been attached to
increase the likelihood of its
Bill Becomes A Law Videos
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKvY0Q3tI6I
 Facts of Congress
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uf2q66G3lmM
 Bill Parody
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyeJ55o3El0&fea
 School House Rock
How a Bill Becomes a Law
 Only 10 percent of all bills
introduced in Congress
become public laws.
 It is a 5 step process:
1. Bill Introduced
2. Goes to Committee
Action (Standing and
3. Floor Action
4. Conference Committee
(if needed)
5. Presidential Signature
Step 1: Bill Introduced
 A member of Congress
proposes or introduces a new
 In the House a bill is dropped
into the hopper
 In the Senate the presiding
officer must first recognize
the senator who then formally
presents the bill
 Bill is then given a title and
number; House bills are given
HR and Senate are given S.
 This process is known as the
first reading
Step 2: Committee Action
 New bill are sent to
committees that deal with
their subject.
 Committees will sometimes
send bills to subcommittees
where they will hold hearings
and investigate and then
report back to committees
 Committee then holds
markup sessions, where they
can decide on any changes
needed in the bill.
 Majority vote is needed for
changes to a bill.
 Committees then votes
to kill the bill or to
report it favorably or
unfavorably to the
 The bill will then be
placed on a calendar
and reported to the
rules committee where
it will be approval for its
appearance on the
Step 3: Floor Action
 This is when the Second
reading occurs
 Debate begins on the
bill on the floor
 During this time is when
an amendment may be
added to the bill by any
lawmaker only if a
majority of the
members present
Step 3: Floor Action Cont.
 After debates and when a quorum of members are present,
then voting will begin and a bill will pass by majority vote
 This starts the Third reading.
 3 types of voting:
1. Voice- most common and members together call out “Aye”
or “No”
2. Standing- those who are in favor stand, followed by those
who oppose
3. Roll-Call- Senate usage, as names are called in alphabetical
order they will say “Aye” or “No”
4. Teller/Electronic- House, name and vote recorded on an
electronic screen behind the Speaker.
Step 4: Final Steps
 If the version passed in the
Senate is the same, then it is
sent to the President to be
 If version is different, then it
is sent to a Conference
Committee, usually made of
the senior, most powerful
members of each committee
to compromise.
 The conference report is the
final bill that is sent back to
each house for approval.
Step 4: Final Stages Cont.
 When the same bill is passed by
both houses it is sent to the
President, who can do one of
four things:
1. Sign it into law
2. Veto or refuse to sign the bill
and send it back to the house
it originated in
3. Pocket veto- does not sign bill
within 10 days and Congress is
out of session, does not
become a law
4. Does not sign within 10 days,
Congress still in session and it
becomes a law
 Congress may override
a presidential veto by
2/3 vote of each house
 After a bill becomes a
law it is registered
with the National
Archives and Records
Article 1, Section 7
“Every Bill which shall have
passed the House of
Representatives and the Senate,
shall, before it becomes a Law, be
presented to the President of the
United States…”
Bill Becomes a Law Videos
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhfc4wyl_1Q&fe
 Bill Becomes a Law Rap

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