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How Are Laws Made? US House of Representatives web site:
Laws begin as ideas. First, a representative sponsors a bill. The bill is then assigned to a committee for study. If released by the committee, the bill is put on a calendar to be voted on, debated or amended. If the bill passes by simple majority (218 of 435), the bill moves to the Senate. In the Senate, the bill is assigned to another committee and, if released, debated and voted on. Again, a simple majority (51 of 100) passes the bill. Finally, a conference committee made of House and Senate members works out any differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The resulting bill returns to the House and Senate for final approval. The Government Printing Office prints the revised bill in a process called enrolling. The President has 10 days to sign or veto the enrolled bill.
What’s the difference between a resolution and a bill?
Resolutions are essentially meaningless
Dateline: 3/11/08 By Debbie Schwarzer
Co-chair Legal Team and Legislative Chair of HSC
Someone has asked the question, “What’s the difference between a resolution and a bill?”
It’s easy. Resolutions are essentially meaningless. They allow the legislature to recognize people, events, groups, issues without actually making law. We pass a resolution declaring that next Tuesday is Butterfly Day. We pass a resolution to recognize the contribution of worms to the health of California soil. We pass a resolution honoring the sacrifices of armed service members in this or that conflict (I made all those up). We don’t make any laws protecting butterflies, or worms, or providing services to the soldiers, by passing a resolution; it’s just a feel-good measure.