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Office of Government Relations

Federal Legislative Process


Federal Legislative Process

Unlike the Florida legislature, the U.S. Congress operates in two year cycles with regularly scheduled breaks, referred to as recesses, during the Easter holiday, most of August, around November Elections and generally during the Holidays in November and December.

Please note that the federal legislative process is much different than the Florida legislative process. Most federal bills are filed as place holder bills with the goal of being attached to a larger piece of legislation as it moves through the process. Congressman and Senators initially propose and file bills just so that the text can be on record and to begin to accumulate co-sponsors. The more co-sponsors a bill has, the more likely it has a chance of being included in another bill, or even passed on its own. The more co-sponsors a bill receives, the more momentum a piece of legislation has and on the federal level momentum is the most important factor to getting a piece of legislation passed. 


Committees operate similarly to the Florida Legislature. However, there are a few differences. There are many more committees and sub-committees on the federal level and they operate year round when Congress is in session. The committee hearings operate more as an informational session with witness testimony and are not open to public comment.