Question 20 - Social Studies Practice Test for the GED Test

According to the passage, a bill with the designation H.R. 2040 would be sent to ____ .

How Does an Idea Turn into Law?

In the U.S. Congress, there is a definitive process by which a law is made. First, a congressperson takes his/her idea for a new law and formulates a bill. This bill is then given to the Clerk of the House or put in the “hopper”, a box used for this purpose. The bill is identified by its sponsor (the member who submitted it) and a unique number assignment. If the member introducing the bill is from the House of Representatives, the number is preceded by “H.R.” and Senate bill numbers are preceded by “S.”. Each bill is printed by the Government Printing Office (G.P.O.) and a copy is given to each member.

Depending on the category of the bill, it is assigned to one of the many committees (22 in the House of Representatives) to study. The designated committee is responsible for hearing expert testimony regarding the bill, as well as input from interested parties. The committee then does one of two things: release the bill (with or without revision) or lay it aside. If the bill is laid aside, this is called “tabling” and the House or Senate cannot vote on it. If, on the other hand, the bill is released, it is called “reporting out” and the congressional body involved will be able to vote on passage.

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