How a Bill Becomes a Law

Last week, No Agenda discussed presidential executive actions, what they are, and where they come from. However members of the executive branch and the agencies that the executive branch oversees may only enforce an executive action until either (1) Congress establishes a law that overturns the executive action or (2) a court ruling overturns the executive action.

Recently, a perfect example exists of a court overturning an executive action when the Ninth Circuit overturned the President’s travel ban. No Agenda hopes to continue this conversation of a president’s powers by exploring the other way an executive action may be overturned: through Congress enacting a law. But how does that happen? Keep reading to find out those answers…

Step 1 | A bill starts as an idea. That idea is written into a bill and sponsored by members of the House of Representatives or the Senate. The sponsor is the primary champion of this legislation.

Step 2 | The new bill is introduced into either the House of Representatives or the Senate depending on which half of Congress the sponsor belongs to.

Step 3 | Assuming the bill is introduced in the House of Representatives, a House committee debates the bill. After reviewing and revising, the committee votes to “report” the bill to the whole House for a majority vote.

Step 4 | If the House approves the bill, it is sent to the Senate to repeat the process described in Steps 2 and 3.

Step 5 | Once both halves of Congress have approved the bill, it is sent to the President. The President can either sign the bill into law or veto the bill.

Step 6 | If the President signs the bill into law, it is now law. If the President vetoes, Congress can only override the President’s veto with a 2/3 super-majority vote.

If this is still unclear, Schoolhouse Rock’s timeless explanation of how a bill becomes law might prove that if a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video is worth 10,000. Enjoy that video below:

Do you have comments? Is there something we missed?  Contact us at or check out No Agenda’s About Me section for more information.

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