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Word Count: 931
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 The chief function of Congress is the making of laws Any Member in the House of Representatives may introduce a bill at any time while the House is in session by simply placing it in the hopper provided for the purpose at the side of the Clerks desk in the House Chamber The sponsors signature must appear on the bill A public bill may have an unlimited number of co-sponsoring Members The bill is assigned its legislative number by the Clerk and referred to the appropriate committee by the Speaker with the assistance of the Parliamentarian The bill is then printed in its introduced form An important phase of the legislative process is the action taken by committees It is during committee action that the most intense consideration is given to the proposed measures this is also the time when the people are given their opportunity to be heard Each piece of legislation is referred to the committee that has jurisdiction over the area affected by the measure Usually the first step in this process is a public hearing where the committee members hear witnesses representing various viewpoints on the measure Each committee makes public the date place and subject of any hearing it conducts A transcript of the testimony taken at a hearing is made available for inspection in the committee office and frequently the complete transcript is printed and distributed by the committee After hearings are completed the bill is considered in a session that is popularly known as the mark-up session Members of the committee study the viewpoints presented in detail Amendments may be offered to the bill and the committee members vote to accept or reject these changes t the conclusion of deliberation a vote of committee
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