How Many Votes Are Needed to Pass a Bill?


The number of votes needed to pass a bill depends on the Constitution and legislature, but either a simple majority or a two-thirds majority is required. In the United States, the Constitution gives Congress the authority to propose and pass bills, but a majority is required to pass them.

In the House of Representatives, when a bill is proposed, it needs a simple majority, or 218 votes in favor out of 435 members, to move onto the Senate. Once there, the bill is scrutinized before another vote is taken. In the Senate, 51 votes in favor out of 100 senators are needed to send the vote to the President and sign it into law or veto. However, in the California Senate, urgent and appropriation bills require a two-thirds majority to pass.