AMERICA ROCKS is an educational cartoon series are various parts of our country’s history and government. It is geared to children to help them understand about our country. During the 1970s these educational segments were often shown on Saturday mornings as a public service announcement between cartoon shows. Each section contains information and facts about our country. Prior to viewing these videos, test your knowledge of American government and history. Answer as many questions as you can BEFORE we watch the videos. We will go over the answers after watching each segment.
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Question: Describe how a bill becomes a law.
How A Bill Becomes A Law :
Whew, you sure gotta climb a lot of steps to get to this Capitol building here in Washington.
Well, I wonder who that sad little scrap of paper is…?
I’m just a bill, yes, I’m only a bill. And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill. Well it’s a long, long journey to the capitol city. It’s a long, long wait while I’m sitting in committee. But I know I’ll be a law someday, at least I hope and pray that I will, but today I am still just a bill.
Gee, Bill, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage.
Well, I got this far. When I started, I wasn’t even a bill,I was just an idea. Some folks back home decided they wanted a law passed, so they called their local congressman, and he said, “You’re right, there oughta be a law.” And he sat down and he wrote me out, and introduced me to congress, and I became a bill. And I’ll remain a bill until they decide to make me a law.
I’m just a bill, yes I’m only a bill, and I got as far as Capitol Hill. Well, now I’m stuck in committee and I’ll sit here and wait while a few key congressmen discuss and debate whether they should let me be a law.
How I hope and pray that they will, but today I am still just a bill.
Listen to those congressmen argue. Is all that discussion and debate about you?
Yeah, I’m one of the lucky ones. Most bills never even get this far. I hope they decide to report on me favorably, otherwise I may die.
Yeah, die in committee! Ooh! But it looks like I’m gonna live. Now I go to that House of Representatives and they vote on me.
If they vote, “yes,” what happens?
Then I go to the Senate and the whole thing starts all over again.
Oh, yes. I’m just a bill, yes, I’m only a bill, and if they vote for me on Capitol Hill, well, then I’m off to the White House where I’ll wait in a line with a lot of other bills for the President to sign. And if he signs me, then I’ll be a law.
How I hope and pray that he will, but today I am still just a bill.
You mean even if the whole congress says you should be a law, the President can still say, “no”?
Yes, that’s called a “veto.” If the President vetoes me, I have to go back to congress and they vote on me again and by that time, this…
And by that time, it’s very unlikely that you’ll become a law. It’s not easy to become a law, is it?
No! But how I hope and pray that I will, but today I am still just a bill.
He signed you, Bill, now you’re a law.