"I'm Just a Bill" is a song in Schoolhouse Rock!, which can be seen in American Rock. The song teaches us how a bill becomes a law.
Boy: Woof! You sure gotta climb a lot of steps to get to this Capitol Building here in Washington. But I wonder who that sad little scrap of paper is?
I'm just a bill. Yes, I'm only a bill. And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill. Well, it's a long, long journey to the capital city. It's a long, long wait while I'm sitting in committee, but I know I'll be a law someday. At least I hope and pray that I will, but today I am still just a bill.
Boy: Gee, Bill, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage.
Bill: Well I got this far. When I started, I wasn't even a bill, I was just an idea. Some folks back home decided they wanted a law passed, so they called their local Congressman and he said, "You're right, there oughta be a law." Then he sat down and wrote me out and introduced me to Congress. And I became a bill, and I'll remain a bill until they decide to make me a law.
I'm just a bill. Yes I'm only a bill, And I got as far as Capitol Hill. Well, now I'm stuck in committee, and I'll sit here and wait while a few key Congressmen discuss and debate whether they should let me be a law. How I hope and pray that they will, but today I am still just a bill.
Boy: Listen to those congressmen arguing! Is all that discussion and debate about you?
Bill: Yeah, I'm one of the lucky ones. Most bills never even get this far. I hope they decide to report on me favourably, otherwise I may die.
Bill: Yeah, die in committee. Oooh, but it looks like I'm gonna live! Now I go to the House of Representatives, and they vote on me.
Boy: If they vote yes, what happens?
Bill: Then I go to the Senate and the whole thing starts all over again.
Boy: Oh no!
Bill: Oh yes!
I'm just a bill. Yes, I'm only a bill. And if they vote for me on Capitol Hill... Well, then I'm off to the White House where I'll wait in a line with a lot of other bills for the president to sign. And if he signs me, then I'll be a law. How I hope and pray that he will, but today I am still just a bill.
Boy: You mean even if the whole Congress says you should be a law, the president can still say no?
Bill: Yes, that's called a veto. If the President vetoes me, I have to go back to Congress and they vote on me again, and by that time you're so old...
Boy: By that time it's very unlikely that you'll become a law. It's not easy to become a law, is it?
But how I hope and I pray that I will, but today I am still just a bill.
Congressman: He signed you, Bill! Now you're a law!
Bill: Oh yes!!!
- The song, as well as Schoolhouse Rock itself, were later parodied in The Simpsons, more specifically the episode "The Day the Violence Died", where as a replacement to the then-recently shut down Itchy and Scratchy show, the song "Amendment to Be" was shown, complete with Jack Sheldon reprising the role. In it, the bill is an amendment for the constitution, more specifically, an amendment that bans flag desecration by burning, although the boy initially mistook him for garbage. The amendment also implies that he'll blackmail Ted Kennedy as insurance against his failure by claiming that he's gay, although it ultimately proved to be unnecessary. After being passed, the amendment then allows for several amendments to storm the Congress.
- The Bill later makes a cameo near the end of "Tyrannosaurus Debt".
- One of the other Bills in line at the White House has his army hat in the form of a Hidden Mickey.