A law is first a bill, an idea convertible to a law. A law begins in an idea that has a potential to become a law. In the time during which the House is in session, a bill can be introduced. A bill is an idea that can be introduced by any of the members of Congress. Bills can be of various types. A public bill is the one that applies to the general population. A private bill may apply to a single person or to a certain group of people. The local government proposes local bills and they apply to a certain locality. Hybrid bills are those which combine the aspects of both public and private bills. It is an accepted form in the UK but not a recognized type in Canada.
The idea for a bill is devised and put up in a written form. A member of Congress needs to officially introduce the bill in the Congress. Congress representatives are said to sponsor the bills that they put up. They seek support to form a majority. On the introduction of a bill, it is handed over to a committee. The committee members raise questions about the necessity of the bill and its validity. The members vote in favor of or against the bill proposed. Issues and concerns put up by the committee members may lead to amendments in the bill. In this case, the committee may request for a clean bill that incorporates the proposed amendments. The committee prepares a written report about the bill.
If the bill does not obtain a majority vote in the committee, it fails. However, in case the committee passes it, it is put before the House along with the committee report. Bills are placed on one of the House Calendars.
A calendar is a list of bills related to a particular topic. The Union Calendar is a list of bills that address money. These bills can be classified as bills that draw revenue. A House Calendar is a list of public bills that do not address money. The Private Calendar consists of private bills to be considered by the House. The list of bills that are selected by the Speaker of the House for consideration and debate constitutes The Corrections Calendar.
The Committee of The Whole includes all members of the House. All the measures of the Union Calendar have to be considered by the Committee of The Whole. This committee can debate and suggest amendments to the bill but cannot pass it. The sponsoring committee guides the debate. It allots time for those who are for or against the passing of the bill to come up with their opinions that support their view. The bill goes back to the House for a final vote.
If a bill is passed, it is sent to the other Chamber. Then it is passed on to a Conference Committee that is made up of senior members from each house. It includes members who have dealt with the bill initially. This committee prepares a report and sends it to the Chamber.
From here, the bill is sent to the President. For the bill to become a law, the President has to sign it within ten days. In case the President does not sign the bill within the predefined period, but if the Congress is in session, the bill becomes a law. There may develop a situation wherein the Congress is adjourned within ten days and the President has not signed the bill. This results in the bill not becoming a law. In the other case, the bill receives a Presidential veto. It is then sent back to the Congress. If both the chambers override the Presidential veto, the bill becomes a law.