Before Drafting

This section includes:

Approaching a Problem

The first step in the legislative drafting process is identifying a problem to be solved. The next steps are developing a policy for solving it and fleshing out that policy in enough detail to draft effective legislation.  Before proceeding to the drafting stage, however, it is important to ask whether the policy is one that is best accomplished legislatively... Read more

Researching the Law

When a bill or joint resolution is enacted into law, it is given a public law1 number in the form 000–0.  The first number is the number of the Congress that passed the law, and the second number indicates the sequential order of enactment of the law within that Congress.  For example, Public Law 111–161 was the 161st law enacted during the 111th Congress... Read more

Understanding the Legislative Process

Several legislative process considerations directly impact how a bill or resolution will be drafted.  Most notably, it must comply with the Rules of the House.  This determination is ultimately up to the presiding officer (the Speaker or the Chair of the Committee of the Whole), but the presiding officer gives great weight to the recommendations of the Parliamentarian of the House of Representatives... Read more