The process for generating and passing legislation in Parliament has many differences between that of Congress. In Parliament the process first begins with the Commons who will meet to debate over the creation and amendment of laws. Then they vote to determine which proposals and laws have support. In the Lords they have one day a week in which they hold a general open debate, then have short debates throughout the rest of the week.
Unlike the Commons, they do not vote on debate topics. Instead they use committees made up of several Lords and Members of Parliament. These committees examine specific legislation or policies. They may even create multiple committees for a certain issue, then subsequently they break up the issue and give each committee a different part of it to advise on, make legislative changes, or investigate. The proposed legislation is referred to as a bill. The bills that are more controversial or contested usually start in the House of Commons.
New legislation can be introduced by a Lord, Member of Parliament, or members of public/private groups. Then it must be debated and voted on by both Houses for it to be passed. If both Houses vote to pass the bill, it will become law and automatically gets approval by the monarch (known as royal ascent). If it is voted against by the Lords, the Commons can still pass it, because after 2 years it will still be approved without the Lords’ approval.
In the United States Congress a bill can begin in either the House or the Senate. Then the bill must be approved by both houses before going to the President. First the legislation will be written by one or more members of the House or Senate. Then the legislation gets sent to a relevant committee, where its members will debate, and if necessary, rewrite or revise it. After the committee approves the bill it gets placed on the docket so that all members of the respective originating house may debate it. Afterwards, more changes or potential amendments are usually made before finally calling for a vote.
In the House, at least 51% of members (221) must vote yes to pass it. In the Senate, 3/5ths of members (60) is generally required to move beyond debate and to the voting stage. The passage technically only requires 51% as well (also called a simple majority), but in the Senate it may require even more (called a super majority). Therefore, the Senate will usually be the more difficult house to pass the bill through as a means of check and balance. Once the bill passes in the originating house it goes to the other where it may likely be amended or changed once again. Both houses are required to pass the same version of the bill.
It can be extremely difficult because the bill may be passed back and forth repeatedly between each house, undergoing changes which may or may not be accepted by the other chamber. Additional complications occur depending upon the current party composition of Congress. The majority or even the minority may attempt to stonewall a bill along party lines. There are many other groups, both governmental and non-government which may strongly influence this process, to include lobbying groups. Once it finally reaches the President’s desk, he may use his executive power to veto the bill.