Stages of Passing a Bill
How a Bill becomes a Law
Step 1: Introduce the Bill
Step 2: Committee Review
A committee will review the draft bill and edit it.
Step 3: Floor Debate
Depending on whether the bill was first introduced in the Senate or the House, that chamber will debate and vote on the bill. If the bill fails, then the bill will die. If that chamber passes the bill (e.g., House of Representatives) the other chamber (e.g., Senate) will then review, edit, and vote on the proposed law.
Step 4: Reconciling the Act
Once the bill passes one chamber of Congress it is known as an Act. The other chamber must also vote on the Act. But it is possible that the other chamber will modify the Act. This creates an issue because the Senate and the House of Representatives cannot send different versions of the Act to the President. Instead, a committee from both chambers of Congress will edit the Act so both chambers can vote on the same version.
Step 5: Sending the Act to the President
If Congress passes the same version, the Act will be sent to the President. If the President signs the Act it will become a law. The President might veto the law, in which case Congress can override the veto by a 2/3 majority of both houses.