Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW

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The way an idea grows from a bill to a law is a long and complicated process. The framers of the Constitution wanted government leaders to have lots of debate on issues and not just make laws quickly or without thought as to consequences. They chose to design a system that requires both parts of the Legislative Branch to be involved in the lawmaking process and to then have to seek approval from the President (Executive Branch) for the final step. They also prevented the President from being too powerful in this process, by allowing the legislature the option to outvote the President's decision to veto a law.

Study the steps needed to take a bill through the process to become a law.

TASKS:

After reviewing these steps, write what part of the process that you think is the most difficult for the bill to go through. Where do you think bills most likely get stopped or changed? Give your opinion supported by facts from this site.

PUT THESE STEPS IN THE CORRECT ORDER:

Committee action

Bill is introduced

Vote

Conference committee if needed

Debate

Law is given a number

Floor action

Presidential action

Override veto if needed

For a more detailed official explanation of how a bill becomes a law, go to this government site and compare it with the explanation at the previous site.

How Our Laws Are Made (from congress.gov)