After a bill is introduced and then referred to a committee, I understand the committee will address it during a hearing.

If it is then "reported by committee" and "ordered to be reported without amendment favorably", what happens next and how can it die there?


2 Answers 2


There are some very good resources such as: http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/howourlawsaremade.pdf http://thomas.loc.gov/home/lawsmade.toc.html

In short, if for instance, it's a Senate committee, it's reported to the House for action. Once a bill is favorably reported by committee, it is assigned to a calendar for action by the larger body. And then once a bill has been agreed to in identical form by both houses, the next phase is enrollment, for presentation to the President. It's signed by the Speaker of the House, then the Vice President and then it is then presented to the president.

Also check out this infographic: http://dailyinfographic.com/how-our-laws-are-made-infographic


It goes to committee, and then if approved the whole senate or house votes on it. If it gets a two thirds majority, then the speaker of the house has to approve it. Notice how this is getting closer in line of succession to the president? Both houses of Congress have to approve it first though.

The vice president then has to approve it, then the president. In short, Lindsay was right.

  • The vice president has nothing to do with approving bills, unless it's to decide a tie vote in the Senate or specifically asked for his opinion by the President. And officially, the Speaker of the House doesn't have to give his approval, although a bill without his approval will have a very hard time coming up for a vote in the first place. There's also no 2/3 majority needed for most things. In short, this is a fundamentally flawed answer.
    – Bobson
    Jun 17, 2014 at 14:23

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