Enactment of a Law Senate outline of legislative process.
How Our Laws are Made Outline of legislative process on Thomas, the legislative website of the Library of Congress.
Legislative Sourcebook Excellent site from the Law Librarians Society of Washington, D.C. with links to sites useful for doing legislative histories.
Doing a Legislative History
Legislative history refers to all the documentation relevant to the process of the enactment of a statute. Examining the materials compiled in a legislative history will give you some insight into the issues that influenced the passage of a particular law as well as the intention of the legislators.
Step One: Learn the Legislative Process
- Bill is introduced in the House (H.R.####) or Senate (S.####).
- Bill is assigned to a committee.
- The committee may let the bill die or hold hearings and mark up the bill.
- The committee votes to report the bill and writes a report on its thought process.
- The bill is sent to the floor of its originating house for debate and voting.
- Once a bill passes in its originating house, it is called an engrossed bill. It is sent to the other house and the same process begins again. Once it is sent to the other house, it is called an act.
- If the two houses disagree on aspects of the bill, they may have a conference to resolve disputes. They will draft a report showing how they came to their conclusions.
- Once the bill passes both houses, it is called an "enrolled act."
- The enrolled act is sent to the President for who will either sign or veto it.
- If vetoed can go back to each Chamber for an override vote. each Chamber must pass with a 2/3 majority.
- Law is printed and codified.
- Regulations written to put law into effect.
Bill to Law
Ask A Librarian
If you have a question or need help you can use the chat window below, call the refererence desk at 703-284-1649 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a question or need help, you can use the chat window, call the reference desk at 703-284-1649, or email us at email@example.com.