Bills are introduced in the House of Representatives. There is no certain number of days that a bill has to become law, but it must be voted on in the same congressional session, or same year, that it is introduced. If it is not voted on during the session, it can be reintroduced the following year, when it must start its journey over again.

Process of a Bill

Any House member may originate a bill while Congress is in session. The bill is sent to a committee based on the content of the bill. Over 90 percent of bills never make it past the committee. If the bill is approved by the committee, it is sent to the House floor for a vote. The House debates on the merits of the bill, amends it if desired, then votes on the bill. If passed, it is sent to the Senate for the same consideration. If the Senate amends the bill, it is returned to the House. This continues until there are no more amendments, both chambers have approved the bill or it has been rejected. If both chambers approve the bill, it's sent to the president who can sign or veto the bill.