Many of us do not have a complete idea of the differences between a bill and a law. Most people think that bills and laws are the same things, but they are completely two different things in reality.
In this article, we will delve deeper into understanding the differences between a bill and a law and how a bill becomes a law. As you are reading this article, chances are you take a keen interest in all legal stuff.
If so, read this article to the end, as after reading this article, you will learn something that is going to add value to your life. First, let us take a look at what a bill and a law are exactly. So without wasting any further time, let us get started.
What Is The Difference Between A Law And A Bill?
Law is a rule enforced by the government of a particular country to control its citizens’ behavior and activities. Law can also mean a system of rules that are made and enforced by the government for the same purpose.
A bill, however, is a proposed law but not yet a law. It is drafted by the lawmakers to be discussed, debated, and voted for or against in the legislature. If a bill is passed in the legislature, that means it has become law.
Now let us take a look at the process in which a bill becomes a law.
How A Bill Becomes A Law?
These are the steps in which a bill becomes a law. This process is the same for most countries.
Step 1: The Drafting Of The Bill
This is the first step you must take note of while learning how a bill becomes a law. Any congress member from both the House of Representatives and Senate can draft the idea of a bill.
These ideas are generally of Congress members. Members of the Congress that are in support of the Bill are called sponsors; other members supporting this Bill are called co-sponsors
Step 2: Introduction Of The Bill
After the drafting of the Bill, it must be introduced. A bill is introduced to the House if the representative is the sponsor. If the sponsor is a senate, then the Bill is introduced in the Senate.
As soon as Bill’s introduction is completed, you can find the Bill available on Congress.gov. This is the official government website that keeps track of federal legislation.
Step 3: The Bill Is Received At The Committee
When talking about how a bill becomes a law steps. This is the third part of learning how a bill becomes a law. As soon as the Bill is introduced, it goes to the Committee. Both the Senate and the House have congress member groups that take a keen interest in international affairs and health matters.
When the Committee receives the Bill, it is passed through carefully by all the members of the Congress, and only then is it decided whether the Bill is going to pass or not. The Committee can also opt to conduct hearings to understand the Bill better.
Step 4: The Subcommittee Reviews The Bill
The Subcommittee is a level deeper in the Committee. They consist of members that have a deeper knowledge of certain topics. The Subcommittee has the authority to make changes to the Bill.
The members of the Subcommittee hold a very powerful position in deciding the outcome of a bill. This is a very important thing to know while learning how a bill becomes a law.
Step 5: The Committee Marks Up The Bill
Answering the question of how does a bill becomes a law is the fifth step and a very important one. When both the hearing and the subcommittee reviews are done with. The Committee will decide to ‘mark up’ the Bill. If some changes in the Bill are required, then it is the time when it happens.
After making the necessary changes, the Bill is sent to the ‘floor.’ If the Committee decides not to report legislation, then the Bill dies. When a committee votes in favor of the Bill, it is sent to the ‘floor.’
Step 6: The Full Chamber Votes On The Bill
This is the sixth step. In this step, the Bill is received by the members of the floor.
The full chamber vote members on this Bill and decide if it’s right or some changes need to be made.
Step 7: The Bill Is Referred To Other Chamber
Upon passing a bill by both the Senate and the House, the Bill is sent to the other chamber. The process of all this is usually the same. It is upon the chamber to approve or reject the Bill.
Furthermore, Congress has the authority to form a conference committee to reconcile the differences made by the Senate and House versions of the Bill. When a conclusion is reached, the conference report members for the final bill, the Senate, and the House have the power to vote for or against the Conference report.
Step 8: The President Receives The Bill
This is the part where the President receives the Bill. It is only possible when both the House and the Senate have approved of the Bill. If the President approves the legislation, then the Bill becomes law.
Do note that the President also reserves the right to veto the Bill. If the President does not decide to take any action, then the Bill is ‘pocket vetoed.’
Step 9: Overriding President’s Veto
If the President rejects (veto) the Bill, then Congress can make an attempt to override the veto.
If the Bill is passed by a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House, then the President’s veto is overruled. And a bill finally becomes a law.
There you go; I hope this article has given clear insights into learning how a bill becomes a law. I hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions or feedback for us, kindly drop them down in the comment section down below.