The first method is for a bill to pass both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives by a two-thirds majority in each. Once the bill has passed both houses, it goes on to the individual states for a vote. An amendment to the Constitution must be approved by three-fourths of the states. This is the route taken by all current amendments. Because of some long outstanding amendments, such as the 27th Amendment, which was proposed September 25, 1789 and not ratified until May 7, 1992, the U.S. Congress will normally put a time limit (typically seven years) for the bill to be approved as an amendment. The second method prescribed in the U.S. Constitution is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the states, and for that convention to propose one or more amendments. These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures. This route has never been taken, and there is discussion in political science circles about how such a convention would be assembled and what kind of changes it would bring about. Source: www.USConstitution.net
If an amendment to the Constitution is submitted to the states, then three-fourths of all states must approve it. Today that would be 38 states. This action, if it occurred, would result in a Constitutional Convention in order to add the amendment. This process has never been used to add any amendment. The more usual process is the creation of a joint resolution of Congress, which is approved by two-thirds votes in both houses and forwarded to the National Archivist for inclusion in the Constitution.
The Amendment process is the formal way to change the Constitution. An amendment may be proposed by two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress or by a convention called by Congress at the request of two-thirds of the state legislatures. Ratification of an amendment takes three-fourths of the states to approve.
38, or 3/4 of the states must approve of the amendment before it can me added to the Constitution. This process does not have to happen simultaneously. It's typically for the process to take several months or even years. As soon as the criteria is reached, the amendment passes. Four amendments, some as far back as 1789 are still technically pending approval.
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