A Bill Becomes a Law
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About The Project

About The Project


The legislative process is a fascinating, important, and complex set of actions whose excitement and variability are not fully captured in the standard "a bill becomes a law" chart. While the formal stages in the legislative process are a good place to start, it is important to recognize alternative routes. Legislation passes or fails both on the quality of its content and the strategies of its opponents and proponents. This module uses text, graphics and video to enliven students' understanding of the legislative process and to allow them to explore in-depth its various facets.

The project was devised by Stephen Frantzich, Professor of Political Science at the U.S. Naval Academy with grants provided by The Dirksen Congressional Center and the Naval Academy Research Office. Cindy Koeppel of The Dirksen Congressional Center served as co-producer.

Home Unit 1: Introduction Unit 2: From Problems to Solutions Unit 3: Origin of Bills Unit 4: Bill Drafting and Floor Introduction Unit 5: Referral to Committee Unit 6: Subcommittee Review Unit 7: Mark-up and Subcommittee Voting Unit 8: Committee Action Unit 9: Scheduling Floor Consideration Unit 10: Floor Debate Unit 11: Floor Votes Unit 12: Ironing Out Differences Unit 13: Presidential Action and Congressional Reaction Unit 14: The Legislative Processes