Government: Frequently Asked Questions
The Nuts-and-Bolts of Capitol Hill
How is a bill passed?
Anyone can propose a bill, even private citizens. Before becoming law, though, the bill must gain approval from congress and the president. A bill begins the process of becoming law when a representative from either house of congress agrees to sponsor it. Then the bill is assigned to a specific congressional committee, who votes on whether the bill should pass to the floor and if so, whether it needs additional provisions or changes. A bill that survives this step goes to the floor, where it must gain majority approval, or 60 percent of the governing body. If it passes, it goes to the other congressional body. Once a bill passes both houses of congress, the president can either veto it—in which case it returns to congress— or sign it, in which case it becomes law. Read more about the process.
Who are my legislators?
Find your congressional representatives by entering your five-digit zip code, state or the official’s name. You can search at the local, state or federal level—or all three at once.
How can I register to vote?
You can start the process here by entering your five-digit zip code.
What is grassroots activism? Why is it effective?
Grassroots activism refers to a political movement that arises from a community of like-minded individuals rallying for the same cause. As the name suggests, these movements build from the ground up rather than stemming from traditional political power structures. Grassroots activism is often effective because it engages individuals and spurs voter registration in local communities.
What is a Political Action Committee (PAC)?
A PAC is a private group organized to support a political candidate or advance the outcome of a political issue or legislation.
What if I feel intimidated about contacting my legislator?
We’re here to help. PHCC is your conduit to the legislative process, whether you’re looking to make a single phone call or start a chapter-led grassroots effort in your area. No question or initiative is too small.
Why should I get involved?
Simply put, your representatives want to hear from you. Letter writing, phone calls and other direct communication with your legislators displays your stake in the issues and your unique perspective as a p-h-c contractor. Don’t wait around for someone else to represent your position: only you can tell legislators exactly what your business, consumers and industry needs from our governing bodies. Maybe you live and breathe Capitol Hill or maybe you don’t know the first thing about it—no matter the case, PHCC can help you at every step of the way.
What is the annual Legislative Award? How can a member or chapter qualify for it?
This award is presented to a contractor or an executive manager who demonstrates exceptional skills in the legislative and regulatory arena. The winner receives a commemorative gift and a certificate. Applications for this award are due Aug. 1.
What is the annual Legislative Conference?
The annual Legislative Conference is held each spring in Washington, D.C. The program typically consists of an orientation, followed by several networking opportunities to get to know other contractors and mingle with national legislators and federal officials. The highlight of the event is a day-long visit to Capitol Hill. Don’t miss the opportunity to participate first-hand in the legislative process and make an impact on legislative issues that are affecting your business and industry. With strong participation at the conference, the industry’s arguments to Congress exert more influence.