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how a bill becomes a law flowchart
How a bill becomes a law flowchart

How a bill becomes a law

A bill becomes a law when it successfully passes through both Houses of Congress and is signed by the president. This can be a difficult process because there are a lot of steps involved. Once a bill is introduced into one house, it must pass through that house's committees and then be voted on by that House before going to the other House for the same. If both houses approve the bill, it goes to the President who can accept or veto it.

Roughly 2/3 of bills introduced in the U.S. Congress are never enacted. A bill becomes law when it is passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and then presented to the President for approval or veto. If approved, it is sent to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) for final publication in Title 3 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), at which point it has legal effect in whatever jurisdiction it applies to.

This is part of the legislative process that is further discussed in our legislative process flowchart.

How a bill becomes a law flowchart

In this flowchart example, we detail the main steps through which a bill go through: Live Flowchart Link