How A Bill Becomes A Law (in the US)

By Chelsey Fix, Advocacy Manager

It’s been over 20 years since Schoolhouse Rock released its last video, which makes me think that we all need a refresher on the process by which a bill becomes a law!

As a throwback, enjoy everyone’s favorite Schoolhouse Rock civics lesson by clicking here.

As a recap, that I will NOT be singing, here are the essential steps to bills becoming laws:

  • The bill is introduced by a Member of Congress
  • The bill gets referred to a Committee
  • The Committee debates on the bill, edits the bill, and may hold hearings on the bill to discuss it in detail
  • The Committee decides if the full Chamber of Congress votes on the bill
  • The full Chamber of Congress – say The House of Representatives – votes on the bill at a time set by the leader of that Chamber
  • The above steps are repeated in the other Chamber – say the Senate
  • If the bill passes both Chambers with a positive vote, it moves to be signed into law by the President

Woah – that’s a lot of steps! While this feels like a major mountain to climb, we should also be thankful that our government system is set up in a way that allows us to participate in the process for each of these steps. In fact, thanks to advocates like you who are reading this blog and joining this important cause, HR 2905 is making its way through this process, and we will be there every step of the way to make our voices heard. And when I say we, I mean me, you, and as many members of the GBS|CIDP Community that want to participate

Here is what we are doing this summer to push HR 2905 through the law-making process and how YOU can help:

  1. Lisa Butler, Jim Crone, HMCW, and myself will be heading to Capitol Hill this month to meet with members of the House Ways and Means Committee, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and members of the Senate Finance Committee.
  2. In August, we will visit our Representatives’ and Senators’ local offices to meet with their staff there to ask for support for HR 2905.
    • HOW YOU CAN HELP: Email me at chelsey.fix@gbs-cidp.org to set up a meeting with your local offices. During the meeting, share your GBS|CIDP story and ask for the office to support HR 2905.

I will keep you updated on this process! It will always be a priority for the Foundation to advocate for every patient to have the right treatment in the right setting for them.

In the meantime, stay tuned for some awesome updates on the Advocacy Front involving state-level advocacy, the intersection of advocacy and research, and Hill Day 2020!

Warmly,
Chelsey