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The Law

September 4, 2012


A bill is the text of the law offered for adoption and prepared for the introduction into the legislative body or referendum. The bill preparation process includes the decision-making concerning its development, text development, discussion and completion of an original project, and its coordination with all the interested bodies and organizations. After the preparatory stage is completed, a bill is submitted to the legislative body for consideration as a legislative initiative. According to the subject of a legislative initiative, bills are subdivided into governmental, deputy, etc. There are two types of bills - public and private. A public bill is one that affects the public generally. A bill that affects a specified individual or a private entity rather than the population at large is called a private bill. A typical private bill is used for relief in matters such as immigration and naturalization and claims against the United States (Sullivan: 2007). The president can offer the legislative ideas in the annual Message to the Nation, and the ordinary citizens can send their petitions to the Congress (the 1st amendment to the US Constitution). However, the right to directly initiate the bill belongs only to the congressmen. The bill can be presented both by the member of the House of Representatives, and by the Senator. For this purpose, the member of the House of Representatives drops the bill in a special box at a tribune, and the Senator passes it over to the secretary of the Senate, or represents it. If the Senator represents the bill himself, any of the other senators can object to the bill consideration; in this case, the presentation of the bill is postponed to the next day. After that, the bill is sent to the committees. Therefore, the bill consideration in the committees is the most important stage of its passing. The destiny of the bill is solved in the committees. If the bill is very important, the committees or subcommittees can appoint public


hearings. The representatives of the organizations and the state departments are invited to the discussions of the bill. If the bill has been sent to the subcommittee, the final meeting (markup) of the subcommittee is held after the discussions and public hearings. The opinions of subcommittee members are listened for the last time, and voting takes place. The

subcommittee can give a positive response to the committee in the form of a favorable resolution with amendments or without them, or the negative one. In this case, the subcommittee can 1) draw a negative (unfavorable) resolution; 2) pass the bill over to the committee without the recommendation or 3) to recommend the committee to postpone the bill for an uncertain time (table). The president signs all bills, but if they do not do it within 10 days, the bill becomes the law automatically. The president can impose a suspensive veto on the bill. In this case, they apply their objections to the bill and send it to the House, which suggested the bill. When the veto of the president is overridden, the bill automatically becomes the law and does not require the second signature of the president. Then, the law is officially published; otherwise, it is considered to be void, and is not introduced.

POLITICAL SCIENCE References Open Congress. (2009). How a Bill Becomes a Law. Available

at: Sullivan, J.V. (2007). How Our Laws Are Made. House of Representatives. 110th Congress, 1st Session. Available at: