The chief function of Congress is the making of laws. The legislative process comprises a number of steps and, on this page, you can find links to resources and information concerning legislation introduced and considered in Congress. An in-depth description of the legislative process within the House of Representatives is presented in How Our Laws are Made and Enactment of a Law on the Clerk of the House's website. Abridged versions of how laws are made are also available for young learners, grade schoolers, middle schoolers, and high school students.
The House of Representatives divides its work among over twenty permanent and standing committees. Normally, before a piece of legislation is considered by the House it has been reviewed by at least one of the committees and a report is issued by that committee describing the legislation and indicating (on section-by-section basis) how the proposed statute changes existing statutes. Congress divides its work among over two hundred committees and subcommittees, each of which issues regular reports on its activities.
After a bill is introduced on the House or Senate floor, it is referred to the committee of jurisdiction (i.e., the committee charged with reviewing measures in the area of law or policy with which the bill is concerned). The committee of referral most often sends the measure to its specialized subcommittee(s) for study, hearings, revisions and approval.
For most bills, the committee or subcommittee fails to take further action on the referred bill, effectively "killing" the measure at this point. (Occasionally, a committee will report a measure "unfavorably," with explicit recommendations against its passage, or it will report a bill "without recommendation," which has the same effect as an unfavorable report.)
If the bill passes the subcommittee with a favorable vote, it is sent back to the full committee for further consideration, hearings, amendment and vote.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE HOUSE
RULES AND PRECEDENTS OF THE HOUSE
SCHEDULES OF THE HOUSE
Various schedules of upcoming House activities are available.