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How A Bill Becomes A Law. A Comprehensive Look At The Complicated Process Of A Bill Becoming A Law. Includes A Title Page.

2108 words - 8 pages

How a Bill Becomes a LawbyClare GruszkaDecember 1, 2003How a Bill Becomes a LawThe process of bills becoming laws is a detailed procedure with many steps. As many as 10,000 bills or proposed laws, are introduced in the House and Senate during one term of Congress and fewer than ten percent of those bills become laws. Without this process, our society would have no rules or regulations. This process is an important part of our government that ensures our freedom and liberty.Bills are born in the executive branch from business, labor, agriculture, and other pressure groups that often draft bills. Other bills, or the ideas and inspirations for them, come from private citizens. The Constitution states, "all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills." Because of this clause, most bills are introduced in the House and then passed on to the Senate. Only members can introduce bills in the House. This is done so by dropping them into the "hopper", a large box hanging on the edge of the clerk's desk.There are two types of bills that are presented to the House or Senate for enactment. The first type of bill is a public bill. This is a measure that applies to the nation as a whole. A tax measure, an amendment to copyright laws, or an appropriation of funds for the Navy are all examples of public bills. The second type of bill is a private bill. This is a measure that applies to certain peoples or places rather than the nation as a whole.Along with bills, there are many resolutions introduced into the House or Senate for consideration. One of these is a joint resolution. Joint resolutions deal with unusual or temporary matters. They are used to propose Constitutional amendments and territorial annexations. Another resolution is a concurrent resolution. Concurrent resolutions deal with matters in which the House and Senate must act jointly. They do not have the force or law and do not require the President's signature. Concurrent resolutions are used most often by Congress to state a position on some matter like foreign affairs. Resolutions deal with matters concerning either house alone and are taken up only by that house. Bills or resolutions usually deal with a single subject, but sometimes a rider dealing with an unrelated matter is included. A rider is a provision not likely to pass on its own merit that is attached to an important measure certain to pass.Once a bill is introduced, it is numbered by the clerk of the house and given a short title or a brief summary of its principal contents. The bill is then entered in the House Journal and Congressional Record for the day. With these actions completed, a bill has received its first reading. Each bill passed in either house is given three readings along its legislative route. In the House, the second reading comes during floor consideration if the measure gets that far. The third reading takes place just...

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