The Senate creates a stimulus-package deal; what does this mean and what is the process for it to become effective?

Over night, the leaders of the Senate were able to agree on a $2 trillion stimulus package deal. After so much bickering and arguing, they were able to put their parties’ agendas aside to work for the American people. But is that it? Does this means it’s over, and that we will be receiving aid from the federal government?

Not yet. There’s still conditions to be made for this bill to get passed and to be made into law.

How Bills Become Laws

“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.”

(Article I, Section 1, of the United States Constitution)

This package right now is currently in its beginning stages to getting passed. No wonder the Speaker Pelosi would try to use this crisis to push her agenda.

Laws begin as ideas. First, a representative sponsors a bill. The bill is then assigned to a committee for study. If released by the committee, the bill is put on a calendar to be voted on, debated or amended. If the bill passes by simple majority (218 of 435), the bill moves to the Senate. In the Senate, the bill is assigned to another committee and, if released, debated and voted on. Again, a simple majority (51 of 100) passes the bill. Finally, a conference committee made of House and Senate members works out any differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The resulting bill returns to the House and Senate for final approval. The Government Printing Office prints the revised bill in a process called enrolling. The President has 10 days to sign or veto the enrolled bill.

House.Gov

Good thing is that due to the shortage of senators and house representatives because of the coronavirus, the leaders of these committees are trying to find other ways to have this bill being passed. They would like to avoid having all members of their chambers to be present to prevent exposing more governors to the virus. If all members of congress need to attend the historic voting process, then this could cause delays in getting this bill moved on to its next phases.

However, if approved, this would be somewhat the process of the bill becoming a law:

First, today around noon, the Senate is expecting to meet to address passing this bill, which is likely to happen in the Senate. This is why the bill had to be negotiated by Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, to avoid any disagreements or vetoing this bill. The bill is expected to pass this first stage.

Second, the bill has to go through the House of Representatives. Now, Speaker Pelosi and the House of Representatives must review the bill and they need to be able to pass it, as well. It is expected that if the bill gets passed, it would be through a unanimous decision, avoiding having everyone come to the Capitol. During these times, they are trying to avoid coming to the Capitol to avoid more congressmen from being exposed to the virus.

Third, the bill is sent to congress, who has to review it and make any editions, if necessary. They determine if the bill gets rejected or if it will move forward.

Fourth, “a conference committee made of House and Senate members work out any differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.” This involves doing extra editions to the bill. It means including their special interest groups, making sure no one gets left out, and hopefully ensuring that the American people are included in this bill.

Fifth, after this draft gets done, it needs to go through the process again. The Senate needs to give a final approval. The House of Representatives also, need to approve the finalized draft.

Sixth, once this gets approved, now the revised bill will be printed. Once it’s printed, it gets sent to the president for final approval. The president has 10 days to sign it so that it can officially become effective and law.

We must earnestly pray for a solution!

Were you overwhelmed in this process? While there’s still several things that need to be done, we must pray that the leaders of our government do what they can to ensure a speedy process for this bill. Hopefully, today the bill can begin to circulate through the process once it gets approved by the Senate.

I encourage you all to join us in praying for acceleration! For removal of the spirit of delay, so that we can soon have the aid that we need to steer back the economy into its positive state. We need a breakthrough in congress, and we also need to see a speedy process to providing vaccines and cures for this virus. There’s a lot that needs to be done! It cannot be done unless all of congress, Republicans and Democrats, are involved, as well!

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