Who makes federal laws? What’s the porcess?


Federal laws are made by Congress, the process of which includes seven coherent steps.


The federal organization of any country allows its government to delegate powers between the national level and the state one to achieve the goal of harmonized policies. Such an approach requires developed legislation and reasonable ways of its implementation. In the United States, the Constitution and federal laws are “the supreme Law of the Land” (Section VI, paragraph 2).

Therefore, when a contradiction arises between federal law and state law, the former takes precedence. The Constitution divides the federal government into three branches, and the system of checks and balances does not allow any authority to gain too much power.

Adopting new federal laws that reflect the state of the art of the US is a crucial and sophisticated mission. The body that deals with it is Congress which has two legislative chambers – the Senate and the House of Representatives – with specific powers, the most important of which is the right to legislate. However, legislation can only be adopted for certain limited purposes defined by the Constitution.

The United States government states, “Congress is the legislative branch of the federal government and makes laws for the nation.” But it should be mentioned that the two other branches also play an essential role in making laws in the US.

For instance, The President, the central executive power, is eligible to sign international treaties that are considered as equivalent to federal regulations. If the Senate ratifies such agreements, the court system makes every effort to interpret domestic law in a manner consistent with international obligations. Then, if any international treaty contradicts a federal act, the courts apply the one that was passed later.

A person elected to either the Senate or the House of Representatives has a right to propose a new law – this proposal is a bill. The US government defines seven following steps in the process of making federal laws. First, a senator or representative of either legislative body of Congress introduces a bill. Second, a committee gets the proposal and undertakes a revision of it, making changes to it if necessary. Third, the body can vote for or against the bill.

Fourth, in the case the bill is passed by one chamber of Congress, the other one does the same procedure of verification and voting. Fifth, if Congress accepts the proposal, they shall deliberate distinctions between the two variants. If both chambers vote for the same version, the bill is presented to the President. Sixth, the President examines the bill; then, he or she can approve and turn it into law or veto the proposal of Congress. Seventh, in the case the President chooses the veto option, Congress is eligible to cancel it and sign the bill into law.

It should be mentioned that the President can pocket veto the bill after the adjournment of Congress. If such a situation takes place, the veto cannot be abolished. It seems that the US has a balanced and coherent procedure of making laws at the federal level. The roles prescribed to each body and official are clear, which might be an essential predisposition to solve contradictions if conflicts of interest occur. The interdependent adopting-the-law system allows the national government to monitor and revise decisions of bodies involved and implement a transparent and appropriate legislature policy.

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