Bills and Laws Most bills that Congress considers are public bills, meaning that they affect the public as a whole. A private bill grants some relief or benefit to a single person, named in the bill. Many private bills help foreign nationals obtain visas, but they can cover a variety of other matters. The process through which a bill becomes law occurs in several stages in both houses: 1. Introduction: Only a member of Congress may introduce a bill. After a bill is introduced, it is assigned a designation number. Only members of the House of Representatives may introduce bills concerning taxes. 2. Referral to committee: The leader of the house in which the bill was introduced then refers the bill to an appropriate committee or committees. 3. Committee action: The committees can refer the bill to subcommittees for action, hearings, markup sessions, and votes. The committee can also kill the bill by doing nothing at all, a process known as pigeonholing. 4.
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