How are laws passed in the US?

Christian Giordano, Leopard Life Staff Writer

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It is important to know how our government here in the US works, and one thing not many people know about is how laws are passed. A law is first proposed as a bill usually written by someone in Congress. The bill is then voted on by both houses of Congress, the House of Representatives and the US Senate.

“A bill has to go to like the President and the Congress and they have to agree on it,” said Dax Dunham, 7.

If both houses have a majority vote in favor of the bill, it is then sent to the President of the United States. A majority doesn’t have to do with political parties, it is the side that gets 51% or more of the vote. If both houses don’t have a majority vote, then the bill will most likely be scrapped. It is important to know that BOTH houses must agree on the bill, not just one. The House of Representatives is based on the population of each state. The higher the population of a state, the more representatives they get in the House. The US Senate is the same between all states. Every state, no matter their population, gets two representatives in the Senate.

“If the President doesn’t agree with it, then it is sent back to Congress,” said Dunham.

 If the bill is passed in both houses, the President either signs it or declines it. If the President signs it, then the bill now becomes a law. If the President does not sign it, then it will be sent back to Congress where the next step happens. The process of the President declining the bill is called a veto. 

“They (the bill) go from Congress to the president, to then become a law,” said Cole Bailey, 7.

When the vetoed bill is sent back to Congress, they can either override the veto by a two-thirds vote in both houses, or they can decide to edit the bill and send it back to the President with hopes that he will sign it this time.