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An Amendment is a proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both.

In the United States, before an amendment becomes part of the measure, the Senate must agree to it.[1]

An Amendment can be proposed in two ways:

  • Both houses of Congress must vote for it with a two thirds majority.
  • Two-thirds of the state legislatures may ask Congress to call a national convention on account of their proposed amendment.

The second method has never been used.

An Amendment can be ratified in two ways:

  • Three-fourths of the state legislatures vote in approval of the amendment.
  • Conventions in three-fourths of the states ratify the amendment.

Twelve constitutional amendments were proposed at the first Congress in 1789. The first ten amendments were ratified within two years, and became the Bill of Rights.[2]

See also


  1. US Senate Reference
  2. U.S Government and Politics