Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Constitution - Article 1, sec 7

Much of the information in this series is found at The United States Constitution Online. I highly recommend this site for further exploration of the meaning of our Constitution and give it up front credit for many of the ideas written here.
Section 7 All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills. Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law. Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
Section 7 speaks to the general passing of laws. Here, all government spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, but also approved by the Senate, who may also propose amendments to those bills.

The remainder of this section deals with the process by which all bills may become law. First, a bill must be passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Once this happens, the bill is sent to the President for his signature. If the President signs the bill, it becomes law. If he chooses to veto the bill, he sends it back to the Congress with his objections. If two-thirds of each house passes the bill again, it becomes law over the President's veto - an override. The bill also becomes a law without the President's signature if he doesn't sign it or veto it within 10 days as long as Congress is in session. If Congress is not in session and the President does not sign the bill, then it is as if he vetoed the bill and it does not become law.

The last section clarifies that this is the protocol for all bills to become law.

Up next week - three important sections that outline the powers of Congress and the limits on those powers as well as powers prohibited of the states.

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