The more a student understands how our government is run, the more exciting it can be to follow the news from day to day as to what is happening. When an election takes place, the propositions on the ballot will have more meaning. Yes, it’s very true that some of the propositions can sound very complicated, but the more knowledge we have, the more interest we are apt to have to find out the meaning of each proposition.
The first thing we will want to learn in today’s lesson is to find out how a bill becomes a law. A law in America, starts out with an idea. Someone has an idea for a law. This is usually someone who has an important role in our government, but not necessarily so. (That person, some day could be you). This person tells his/ her congressperson about the idea.
If the congressperson likes the idea, this congressperson will try to support it by speaking about it in Congress and in public. Once the idea has support from a member of Congress, there’s a possibility it will be a success.
The congressperson introduces the idea as a bill. The bill is then sent to the right committee. By this, we mean if the bill has to do with education, the bill will go to the Education Committee.
Let’s say the bill is about having less students in a classroom. The members of this committee discuss the bill and then vote on it. If they approve it, the bill goes to the house of Congress. A bill can begin in either the Senate or the House of Representatives. In this example, let’s say the bill began in the House and was approved by the Education Committee. It then goes to the full House.
All 435 members of the House discuss it, debate it, and finally vote on it. The rule is that one more than half of the members have to approve it If they approve it, then the bill goes to the other house of Congress, which is the Senate. If the House doesn’t approve the bill, they may either send it back to the committee it came from (Education Committee) or abandon it.
If the bill has passed the House, it goes to the Senate. It will go to the Education Committee. As it did in the House, this bill will be voted on. If it is approved, it goes to the President to sign.
according to “Social Studies for Kids,” If the President signs the bill, it becomes a law. If the President doesn’t like it, the bill can be vetoed and sent back to Congress. Both houses of Congress have three choices:
They can change the bill so that the president may like it.
They can agree that the bill will never pass, so they decide to forget about it.
They can vote to override the President’s veto.
In order to override the President’s veto, it is necessary to have two-thirds of the members of both houses vote to override it. In the Senate, this is 67. In the House, this is 290. If either house fails to get that number, then the President’s veto stands and the bill will not become a law.
Source: Social Studies for Kids http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/articles/government/howabillbecomesalaw.htm