Educational Stuff  

Enactment of a Law

Engrossment and Transmittal to the House

The printed bill used at the desk by the Senate during its consideration is the official desk copy, showing the amendments adopted, if any. Once it is endorsed as having passed, it is sent to the Secretary's Office and delivered to the Bill Clerk. After making the proper entries on his records and the data retrieval system, the Bill Clerk turns it over to the Enrolling Clerk who makes an appropriate entry on his records and sends it to the Government Printing Office to be printed on special white paper in the form in which it passed the Senate. This printed Act is attested by the Secretary as having passed the Senate as of the proper date, and is termed the official engrossed bill.

After the passage of a bill by one body, it technically becomes an Act (not yet effective as a law), but it nevertheless continues to generally referred to as a bill.

Engrossed bills are transmitted, or "messaged", to the House of Representatives by one of the clerks in the Secretary's Office, who is announced by one of the House's officials. Upon being recognized by the Speaker, the clerk announces that the Senate has passed a bill (giving its number and title) in which the concurrence of the House is requested.

Upon receipt of such a message from the Senate, the Speaker refers the measures contained therein to appropriate committees. If, however, a substantially similar House bill already has been favorably reported by a committee, the Senate bill, unless it creates a charge upon the Treasury, may remain on the Speaker's table instead of being referred to committee. It may subsequently be taken up or its text may be substituted for that of the House bill when consideration of the latter occurs.

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