GENERAL FEDERATION OF WOMEN’S CLUBS PENNSYLVANIA
Lois Richards, President
Legislation/Public Policy Advancement Guide
http://cqrcengage.com./gfwc/home

Carolyn Smith, Co-Chairman
6 N. Riverview Ave, Columbia, N J 07832   
908-475-5627  carolyns411@embarqmail.com

Dottie Sawyer, Co-Chairman
1628 Erie Ct. Effort, PA 18330
570-629-5631 Victorian.65@verizon.net

  How does a bill become a law? 

  • Bills are introduced in the House of Representatives. There is no certain number of days required for a bill to become law, but it must be voted on in the same congressional session or same year that it is introduced. If it is not voted on during the session, it can be reintroduced the following year, when it must start its journey over again.
  • A sponsor is the first member of the House or Senate to introduce a bill for consideration. 
  • A "cosponsor" is a senator or representative who adds his or her name as a supporter.
  • An "initial cosponsor" or "original cosponsor" is a senator or representative who was listed as a cosponsor at the time of a bill's introduction, rather than added later.
  • A cosponsor added after the initial introduction is known as an "additional cosponsor".
  • Once introduced the bill is referred to one or more committees for review.
    • The Committee Chairman determines if a hearing is held.
    • There may be a Mark-up (meaning a sub-committee may hold a hearing).
    • A committee chairman’s staff member writes a report describing the legislation.
  • The Speaker of the House and Majority Leader of the Senate determine if and when a bill comes before the full body for debates, amendment, and final vote.
  • When the House or the Senate passes a bill, it is referred to the other chamber where it usually follows the same route through committees and floor action.
  • The chamber may approve the bill as received or reject, ignore, or amend it before voting.   
  • If the House and Senate versions of the bill contain significant or numerous differences, a conference committee is officially appointed for reconciliation.
    • If the conference committee is unable to reach an agreement, the legislation dies.
    • If agreement is reached, a conference report is prepared with recommendations for changes.
    • Both the House and Senate must approve of the conference report.
    • If either the House or Senate chamber rejects the conference report the legislation dies.
    • After the conference report has been approved by both the House and Senate, the final bill is sent to the President.
  • Presidential action options:
    • Approves of the legislation, signs it and it becomes law.
    • Opposes the legislation, vetoes it.
      • Congress may override the veto, which requires a quorum present and a roll call vote with 2/3 voting in the positive.
    • Does not act for ten days while Congress is in session, bill automatically becomes law.
    • Takes no action after Congress has adjourned its second session, it is a “pocket veto” and the legislation dies.

About the Committee System

  • The House’s Committees consider bills and issues and oversee agencies, programs, and activities within their jurisdictions.
  • Due to high volume and complexity of its work, the Senate divides its tasks among 20 committees, 68 subcommittees, and 4 joint committees.

Although the Senate committee system is like that of the House of Representatives, it has its own guidelines, within which each
committee adopts its own rules.  This creates considerable variation among the panels.

US Senate Caucuses

  • Informal congressional groups and organizations of Members with shared interests in specific issues or philosophies have been part of the American policymaking process since colonial times.  
  • Typically, these groups organize without official recognition by the chamber and are not funded through the appropriation process.
  • In the Senate, there is one officially recognized caucus -- the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, established by law in 1985.

US House of Representatives

To access the list of and to visit any US House of Representative Committee, go to www.house.gov.  At the top, click on the word COMMITTEES.

US Senate

To access the list of and to visit any US Senate Committee, go to www.senate.gov.  At the top, click on the word COMMITTEES.

Please share this information with your members.  Know how our system of enacting laws works.  Visit these sites often.  Find and track bills as they move through the process.  Contact your legislators and voice your opinion.  If there is a GFWC or GFWC Pennsylvania Resolution that relates to the issue, use the power of the numbers by including the fact that you are a member of these organizations.

And remember to REPORT any actions taken or activities completed!!

 

     
LEGISLATIVE ACTION CENTER
GFWC is a NON-PARTISAN organization, advocating for universal issues germane to the organization without a political bent. Our goals are to educate members about policy issues and pending legislation, while mobilizing members to advocate for GFWC policy priorities.
The GFWC LEGISLATIVE ACTION CENTER is an incredible tool to educate our members on important issues.  Not only can we send legislative alerts, we can also send updates to keep our members informed.
Here are the six easy steps to sign up for the GFWC Legislative Action Center.  Start making a difference by
 

US Legislators for Pennsylvania

Senate

 

Pat Toomey

(202) 224-4254

Robert P. Casey, Jr

(202) 224-6324

 

House of Representatives

District #

1

Brady, Robert

202-225-4731

https://brady.house.gov/contact-me/email-me

2

Fattah, Chaka

202-225-4001

https://fattah.house.gov/contact-rep-fattah/

3

Kelly, Mike

202-225-5406

https://kelly.house.gov/contact-me

4

Perry, Scott

202-225-5836

https://perry.house.gov/forms/writeyourrep/

5

Thompson, Glenn W.

202-225-5121

https://thompson.house.gov/contact-me/email-me

6

Costello, Ryan

202-225-4315

https://costello.house.gov/contact/email

7

Meehan, Pat

202-225-2011

https://meehan.house.gov/contact/email-me

8

Fitzpatrick, Michael G.

202-225-4276

https://fitzpatrick.house.gov/contact-me/email-me

9

Shuster, Bill

202-225-2431

https://shuster.house.gov/contact-form/

10

Marino, Tom

202-225-3731

https://marino.house.gov/contact/email

11

Barletta, Lou

202-225-6511

https://barletta.house.gov/contact/email-me

12

Rothfus, Keith

202-225-2065

https://rothfus.house.gov/email-keith

13

Boyle, Brendan

202-225-6111

https://boyle.house.gov/contact/email

14

Doyle, Mike

202-225-2135

https://doyle.house.gov/contact-me/email-me

15

Dent, Charles W.

202-225-6411

https://dent.house.gov/index.cfm?p=ContactForm

16

Pitts, Joseph R.

202-225-2411

https://pitts.house.gov/contact-me/legislative-contact-form

17

Cartwright, Matthew

202-225-5546

https://cartwright.house.gov/contact/email-me

18

Murphy, Tim

202-225-2301

https://murphy.house.gov/contact-me/




.