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The Legislative Process How a Bill becomes a Law The Legislative Process How a Bill becomes a Law

The Big Picture House Senate President Out of about 5, 000 bills introduced to The Big Picture House Senate President Out of about 5, 000 bills introduced to Congress each year, only about 10 -12% become a law.

Bill Introduction • The President, a member of Congress, an interest group, on an Bill Introduction • The President, a member of Congress, an interest group, on an individual has an idea for a new law or a change to an existing law • Anyone can write a bill

Bill Sponsorship • Only a member of Congress can sponsor a bill • Representatives Bill Sponsorship • Only a member of Congress can sponsor a bill • Representatives usually sponsor bills that are important to them and their constituents • Private Bill: affects a specific person, organization, or location • Public Bill: affects the general population or country at large

Bill in the Hopper • After the idea for a bill is developed and Bill in the Hopper • After the idea for a bill is developed and the text of the bill is written, a member of Congress must officially introduce the bill by dropping the bill into the hopper • The Hopper is where all bills are placed that are introduced into the House

Bill in the Committee Bill is read, studied, debated, changed (marked up). Committee may Bill in the Committee Bill is read, studied, debated, changed (marked up). Committee may hold public (open to public) or private hearings (closed to public) on the bill. • Bill may be voted and approved and reported favorably • Bill may be amended or changed and reported favorably • Bill may be rejected, and reported negatively (do not pass) • A totally new bill may be reported • Bill may be stalled in the committee or Pigeonholed (filed a away and ignored) Discharge Petition: may be used to get a bill stuck in the committee, taken out to the House floor for debate and vote (requires 218 signatures: majority of the full House)

Bill in Rules Committee • The Rules Committee controls the calendar for the House. Bill in Rules Committee • The Rules Committee controls the calendar for the House. They will determine if and when the bill will be considered (day) and how much time will be allowed for its debate. “The Traffic Cop” of the House • Will also decide if the bill may be changed (amended) during debate (open rule, closed rule, restrictive rule) • The bill is sent to the House Floor for consideration

Floor Debate • Floor actions begins and members debate the bill • Bill is Floor Debate • Floor actions begins and members debate the bill • Bill is given its 2 nd reading Quorum (218) Committee of the Whole (100) • Due to the size of the House, debate time is strictly limited • Following debate, the House is ready to vote on the bill • Open Rule, Closed Rule, Restrictive Rule

Floor Vote • • • Voice Vote Standing Vote Teller Vote Roll-Call Vote Computerized Floor Vote • • • Voice Vote Standing Vote Teller Vote Roll-Call Vote Computerized Vote Bill must receive a majority to pass • Given 3 rd and final reading, and sent to the Senate

Bill in Senate Committee Bill is read, studied, debated, changed (marked up). Committee may Bill in Senate Committee Bill is read, studied, debated, changed (marked up). Committee may hold public (open to public) or private hearings (closed to public) on the bill. • Bill may voted and approved and reported favorably • Bill may be amended or changed and reported favorably • Bill may be rejected, and reported negatively (do not pass) • A totally new bill may be reported • Bill may be stalled in the committee or Pigeonholed (filed a away and ignored)

Majority Leader • If the bill survives the Senate Committee, it is presented to Majority Leader • If the bill survives the Senate Committee, it is presented to the Majority Leader who decides if or when to bring it to the floor for debate Harry Reid (D-NV)

Senate Floor Debate • No time limit for debate (Unlimited Debate) • Filibuster: “talk Senate Floor Debate • No time limit for debate (Unlimited Debate) • Filibuster: “talk a bill to death” (stalling tactic) Senators try to monopolize the Senate floor to prevent action (voting) on a bill (stalling tactic used to prevent a vote) • Cloture Rule: 3/5 of the Senate (60 Senators) vote to invoke the rule. From that point, no more than 30 hours of floor time may be spent on that bill Double-Tracking Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC) 24 hours 18 minute Record Filibuster

Senate Floor Vote • • Senate does NOT have a computerized voting system Senate Senate Floor Vote • • Senate does NOT have a computerized voting system Senate will use roll call, teller, or voice vote Bill must get a majority vote to pass 3 rd and final reading if it passes Vote Yes! H. R. 101

Conference Committee • Joint committee formed by members of both the House and Senate Conference Committee • Joint committee formed by members of both the House and Senate (appointed by the Speaker and Pro Tempore) • Bill must pass the House and Senate in identical form • Conference committee will “iron out” any differences on the bill before going to the President • Conference Report: Must be voted on again by both chambers of Congress Hey guys, work things out, I want to see the President! H. R. 101

Bill with the President • President Has 3 Options: (has 10 days to act) Bill with the President • President Has 3 Options: (has 10 days to act) A. Sign the Bill B. Veto the Bill C. Do nothing at all

A. President Signs the Bill • Bill becomes a LAW! A. President Signs the Bill • Bill becomes a LAW!

President Obama signing H. R. 1 (Stimulus Bill) President Obama signing H. R. 1 (Stimulus Bill)

Obama signs the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Law I made it, I’m Obama signs the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Law I made it, I’m a LAW! Law

B. President Veto’s the Bill • Rejects the bill and sends it back to B. President Veto’s the Bill • Rejects the bill and sends it back to Congress • Congress may override a veto by a 2/3 vote in the House and Senate

The Line-Item Veto • In 1996, Congress passed the Line-Item-Veto Act, which gave the The Line-Item Veto • In 1996, Congress passed the Line-Item-Veto Act, which gave the President the power to veto individual items in spending bills without rejecting the entire bill • Clinton v. New York City (1998) In a 6 -3 vote, the Supreme Court struck down the law as unconstitutional • If the President is going to have this power, it must come via a Constitutional Amendment (not by law)

C. President Does Nothing • If Congress stays in session, after 10 days the C. President Does Nothing • If Congress stays in session, after 10 days the bill will automatically become a law • If Congress adjourns, after 10 days the bill will automatically die (Pocket Veto) Even if the President ignores me, I still may become a law! H. R. 101