How a Bill Becomes a Law Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Charles Kinney, Jr.
We have lots of laws in our country, but have you ever wondered how they're made? Read about the Pizza Friday bill, Washington, D.C., and the President of the United States of America.

Pizza Friday!

Let's say you think every Friday should be pizza day at your school. You talk to your teacher about Pizza Friday. Your teacher writes down your idea for Pizza Friday. This is the Pizza Friday bill. Your teacher takes the bill to the lunch people. They talk and think about how it much it will cost and if it is a good idea. Finally they agree!

Your teacher presents Pizza Friday to the other teachers, who vote on it. It passes! They take the Pizza Friday bill to your principal. Your principal signs the bill, and shazam, you did it! The Pizza Friday bill is now a law. Every Friday is Pizza Friday at your school!

Pizza Friday: It should be a law!

Step 1: Come up with a Bill

Anyone can come up with an idea for a law - including you! Turning a bill into a law is like the Pizza Friday idea above. However, it's not so easy, and it usually takes quite a bit longer for a bill to become a law.

The Capitol Building in Washington, DC where law is made.
The Capitol

In Washington, D.C., Congress makes the laws for the nation. There are two parts of Congress: the House of Representatives and the Senate. There are 435 representatives (they are divided on how many people live in your state) and 100 senators (two for each state).

After someone comes up with an idea for a law, she talks either to her representative in the House of Representatives or in the Senate. The representative or the senator agrees and writes a bill, or the idea for the law, like your teacher created the Pizza Friday bill. The bill then goes to a committee of representatives or senators. These are like the lunch people. They talk about the cost and what will happens if the bill becomes a law. The committee can accept the bill, make changes, or even decide it is a bad idea and get rid of it. If they like it, the committee sends it back to the House or the Senate.

A bill has to go through some committees, a vote and a presidential signature before it can become a law.
A Bill

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