How Our Laws Are Made
First published in 1953 by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House
of Representatives, this 21st edition of How Our Laws Are Made reflects
changes in congressional procedures since the 20th edition, which was revised
and updated in 1989 by the Law Revision Counsel of the House of Representatives.
This edition was prepared by the Office of the Parliamentarian of the U.S.
House of Representatives in consultation with the Office of the Parliamentarian
of the U.S. Senate.
The framers of our Constitution created a strong federal government
resting on the concept of "separation of powers."
In Article I, Section 1, of the Constitution, the Legislative Branch
is created by the following language: "All legislative Powers herein
granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall
consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
Upon this elegant, yet simple, grant of legislative powers has grown
an exceedingly complex and evolving legislative process. To aid the public's
understanding of the legislative process, we have revised this popular
brochure. For more detailed information on how our laws are made, the reader
should refer to pertinent House and Senate publications for sale by the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington,
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