Social Studies 5: How a Bill Becomes a Law
Sorry, gang... looks like we'll have to wait for a 2/3 majority to outlaw Nickelback. We're disappointed, too.
|5th Grade||Social Studies|
|Elementary and Middle School||5th Grade|
Don't like when people snort when they laugh? [Person snorts and laughs]
Well then, why not make it illegal to laugh at all? [Police arrive]
Things would get out of control pretty quickly, and before long,
no one would be allowed to do anything. [Person crying in jail]
Thankfully, you can't just waltz into the Oval Office and make a law. [Guard becomes angry]
…You could try to tango, but we have a feeling that wouldn't work either. [People dancing]
And the process of making a law?
It isn't exactly easy. [Proposed law on conveyor belt]
See, it all starts with a proposed law, which either the House or the Senate writes up in
the form of a bill. [Bills exit machine]
Once the bill is written, it has to be sent over to whichever one of the two didn't make
it, in order to receive approval with a two-thirds majority vote. [Person enters office with bill]
Must be nice being able to approve or deny bills sent to you.
We're always stuck paying full price at Red Lobster. [Man holds bill]
Anyway, the process is a whole lot easier said than done, but we'll pretend for a moment
that everyone always gets along and it all goes according to plan. [People dancing]
Dare to dream, right? [Person dreaming]
Once it's approved, the bill makes its way to the most powerful person in America in
order for them to approve and sign it.
Yup, the one, the only…the Preeee…janitor?
What are you doing in the President's chair? [Larry sits happily]
Ughhh Larry's the worst…
Anyway. The President gets final approval. [President signs bill]
Once the president takes a look at it and approves it, then that bill turns into a law.
Of course, the president doesn't have to approve it if they don't want to…but they'll need
some pretty convincing constitutional reasons.
"I don't like the ugly font you used, rewrite it in Impact." [President disapproves]
And if they do deny it, then it goes back to whichever body made it with a list of the president's objections,
giving them an opportunity to modify it based on those objections. [Modified bill exits machine]
If all those objections are addressed – and both houses give it a two-thirds majority
vote - well hey, then we've got ourselves a shiny new law. [New law sparkles]
Of course, getting everyone to agree on turning a bill into a law is never as easy as it sounds.
In fact, it's probably even more difficult than trying to get an entire family to agree
on where to eat for dinner. [Child makes suggestion]
And as anyone with siblings knows, that's basically a never-ending battle. [Other child disagrees]