How A Bill Becomes Law Explained Betches

A Non-Boring Explanation Of How A Bill Becomes A Law

By Betch Waldorf

"I’m just a bill, yeah I’m only a bill, and I’m gonna fuck your whole life up." That’s the song, right? Normally if someone asked me what the bill to law process is, I’d be like, "Do I fuckin’ look like a singing piece of paper to you?" But because the Trump administration and the fuckpoles that make up Congress have turned our whole world upside down, here I am, writing this for you. What a time to be alive. Sure, you learned this stuff in elementary school, but considering most of us can't even remember last Saturday, it's probably worth revisiting.

Also, a really shit-tastic bill tax bill passed this weekend in the Senate, so this shit is like, legitimately going to affect your life. Unless you own a private jet - then you’re chillin’. So let's follow a bill that, like tax scam, starts out in Congress' rightwing frat house - aka The House of Representatives. 


STEP ONE: Introducing the legislation

Any asshole sitting in the House can introduce a bill to congress. It’s then placed in the hopper, which is a stupid fucking name for a box that sits by the clerk’s desk. The clerk reads the bill to the House, and then Paul Ryan takes a second away from being like, the biggest asshole DILF ever, to pass along to the House’s standing committee.

In the Senate, any senator can introduce a bill by "placing it on the presiding officer's desk" or by "formally introducing it" on the Senate Floor. Basically, it's the same as the House process except slightly bougie because like, that's kind of how the Senate rolls.

STEP TWO: Off To The Committee

So then it goes to the team of “experts” (which is a term I use loosely in our government), and they review and research to decide if the bill is good to go. And by review and research, I mean see which lobbyist can pay them the most to agree with them. The more you know!

If they don’t agree, they can send it back to the House for a redo, or send it to the House floor for a debate.

CONGRESS: It has come to my attention that the maintenance staff is switching our toilet paper from Charmin... to generic. All those opposed to chafing please say “aye”.


STEP THREE: Old White People Argue

Then the bill’s fate is in the hands off predominantly old white men who enjoy yelling. What a shock. They argue what they like and don’t like about the bill and then the changes are supposedly made. This is like, the lamest sorority chapter meeting ever.

STEP FOUR: The House Votes

^ don’t get excited, this is a shitty episode of Big Brother.

The House can vote in three ways:
Viva Voce (voice vote): Literally people saying “aye” and “no.” Our fate is in the hands of people muttering three fuggin letters.
Division: Paul Ryan asks people to stand if they agree and sit if they don’t.
Recorded: Electronic voting. Look, we can’t amend the ancient fucking constitution, but we vote on the computer machine.

If a majority of the House says yes, the bill passes and is off to the Senate. Because Congress is mostly dominated by Republicans rn, it’s basically just passing the torch to other old white men. But this time, to old white men who date 14 year old girls


STEP FIVE: The Bill Goes To Senate

In theory, the Senate is supposed to be like, the voice of reason. Like, the House can be a little bit fuckin’ wild sometimes and the Senate is supposed to reign those motherfuckers in.

BUUUUUT it’s 2017, so that’s not a thing anymore.

Senators have the same debate process and research process as the House, but they can only vote by voice. If it passes in the Senate, it enters the 9th of circle of Hell, A.K.A the White House.

STEP SIX.5: The House And Senate Have A Chat

So like, at this point in the process we have two semi-similar bills coming out from two different chambers of Congress. Like your eyebrows, these bills are more like cousins, not identical twins. In order for the bill to actually ruin our lives become law, the House and Senate have to convene a conference comittee to hammer out the differences and come up with a final version of the bill. Once that happens, it has to pass the House and Senate again, which is like, the Founding Fathers' extremely extra plan for making sure we don't pass anything that is insanely unpopular or irresponsible without proper review. 

Spoiler alert, George Washington: it didn't work.


STEP SIX: It Goes To The Most Unqualified Specimen On The Planet

After the bill gets through Senate, it goes to our President, which is currently Trump, obviously.

The President can:

1. Sign and pass the bill—making the bill a law.
2. Refuse to sign, or veto, the bill. That shit goes back to the House, along with the President’s reason for a veto. If Congress still thinks the bill is legit, they’ll say FDT and vote again. If two-thirds of Congress supports the bill, the President’s veto is overridden and the bill becomes a law. Boo, you whore.
3. Do nothing (aka what Trump is good at.) This is called a pocket veto. If Congress is in session, the bill automatically becomes law after 10 days. If Congress is not in session, the bill does not become a law. So like, don’t come back to work, Congress. Thnx.

There's also a non-zero chance that President Trump will forget how to sign his name and we'll be spared all of this...a girl can dream. 

STEP SEVEN: The Bill Becomes A Law

If it passes all the above steps, the bill officially becomes a law and is enforced by the government, who royally fucks us with the long dick of the law.

So there it is. Tell your friends. And please do enjoy your private jet. You guys deserve it.

Need All Of That Explained In One Minute Or Less?

Watch our video. And like, maybe consider getting an Adderall prescription? Your attention span is a problem.

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It's not cute anymore. That's why we've created a 5x weekly newsletter called The 'Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren't laughing, we'd be crying. Sign up for The 'Sup now!




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