System of Government
Who Makes Federal Laws

Who makes federal laws?

Federal laws in the United States are made by the legislative branch of the federal government, which consists of the United States Congress. Congress is responsible for creating, debating, and passing federal legislation. It is composed of two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives.

  • Senate: The Senate is made up of 100 Senators, with two Senators representing each state. Senators are elected by the people of their respective states to serve six-year terms. The Senate has the power to propose, debate, and vote on bills, and its approval is required for legislation to proceed to the next stage.

  • House of Representatives: The House of Representatives is composed of 435 voting members, with the number of representatives per state determined by the state's population. Representatives are elected by the people of specific districts within their states, and they serve two-year terms. The House of Representatives initiates revenue bills and has the power to propose, debate, and vote on legislation.

For a bill to become law, it must be passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate in identical form. Once both chambers approve the bill, it is sent to the President for their signature. The President can either sign the bill into law or veto it. If the President vetoes the bill, Congress can override the veto with a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers.

The process of creating federal laws involves committees, hearings, floor debates, amendments, and conference committees to reconcile differences between versions of a bill passed by the House and the Senate. This deliberative process ensures that laws undergo thorough examination and consideration before being enacted.

It's important to note that the courts also play a role in interpreting and applying federal laws, while the executive branch, headed by the President, is responsible for implementing and enforcing laws once they are enacted.