ACT OF CONGRESS

ACT OF CONGRESS

act of Congress. A law that is formally enacted in accordance with the legislative power granted to Congress by the U.S. Constitution. ? To become a law, or an act of Congress, a bill or resolution must be passed by a majority of the members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Bills or resolutions may generally be introduced in either chamber, except that bills for generating revenue must be introduced in the House of Representatives. When a bill or resolution is introduced in a chamber, it is usu. assigned to a committee. If it is passed by the committee, it is reported to the full chamber. If it passes in the full chamber, it is reported to the other chamber, which then usu. assigns it to a committee in that chamber. If it passes by majority votes of the committee and full body in that chamber, it is reported back to the originating chamber. If its terms have changed in the second chamber, it is submitted to a conference committee, consisting of members from both chambers, to work out a compromise. When the bill or resolution is passed, with the same terms, by both chambers, it is signed by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate (usu. the President Pro Tempore), and is presented to the President of the United States for signature. If the President signs it or fails to return it to Congress within ten days, the bill or resolution becomes law. But if the President vetoes the bill or resolution, it must be passed by a two-thirds majority of the House of Representatives and the Senate to become law. U.S. Const. art. I, ¡ì 7; 3 The Guide to American Law 165¨C66 (West 1983).
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