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U.S. Congressional Publications & Legislative Process

Information about and by Congress

I'm Just a Bill (Schoolhouse Rock)

How Are Laws Made?

A bill is drafted and introduced

The bill is referred to a Committee

The committee may

  • Hold Hearings
  • Request background information (Committee Prints)
  • Report the Bill to the chamber (Reports and Documents)
  • Do nothing. The bill "dies in committee"

The bill goes to the floor for debate and vote (Voting Records and Debates)

Differences in House of Representatives and Senate bills are reconciled in Conference

The President signs the bill (Presidential Action)

 At this point, the bill becomes law.

There are three types of law which prevail at the federal, state, and local levels of government in the United States

Starting Points

Navigating the Legislative Process

How Does a Bill Become a Law: Flowchart

Document Trail Chart

From Chris Brown, University Libraries, University of Denver. Legislative Research (United States)