10.Similar committee and chamber consideration (see steps 1-7)
13.First chamber agrees to amendments (to step 17) - DEBATE, VOTE, ENGROSSED BILL or
Adapted from: Jerrold Zwirn, Congressional Publications and Proceedings: Research on Legislation, Budgets, and Treaties, 2d ed., 1988.
A Congress, composed of the same elected members, meets in a two-year period, until the next congressional election.
Each of these periods is called a "Congress." A two-year Congress is divided into two one-year sessions.
For example, the 111th Congress began in January 2009 and adjourned in December 2010. The First Session was in 2009; the Second Session was in 2010.
The legislative process for an issue may continue over several Congresses.
A bill that is not enacted in a two-year Congress dies when that Congress adjourns. It may be reintroduced in the next Congress with a new bill number.
A researcher may need to track multiple related bills over several Congresses. Documents produced in earlier Congresses may be relevant to later bills on the same topic.
A bill becomes a public law when:
• It passes the House and Senate in identical form and
• It is signed by the President or
The President does nothing for 10 weekdays:
• Unless he does nothing after Congress adjourns (pocket veto) or
A presidential veto is overridden by a 2/3 vote of Congress.
A public law is published in Statutes at Large and codified in the U.S. Code.
A public law has parallel citations: Pub. Law. 107-147, 116 Stat. 21.
Section numbering in the U.S. Code is different than in the public law.
Executive Branch agencies promulgate regulations to implement the new law.
They promulgate proposed and final regulations to tell citizens what they must do to comply with the new law.
Proposed and final regulations are published in the Federal Register.
Final regulations are codified in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
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