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    Wednesday, 1 February 2017

    Veto Power of USA President

    1. Introduction
    According to Black’s Law Dictionary
    Veto means, “A power of one governmental branch to prohibit an action by another branch, especially, a chief executive’s refusal to sign in to law a Bill passed by the legislature.”

    2. Important Kinds of veto

    i. Qualified or limited Veto
    It is a veto that is conclusive unless overridden by an extra-ordinary majority of the legislature. This is the type of veto that the President of the U.S.A has.

    ii. Pocket Veto
    A veto resulting from the President’s failure to sign a Bill passed within the last ten days of the legislative session.

    iii. Absolute Veto
    An unrestricted veto that is not subject to being overridden.

    3. The veto Power of the US President

    The President of the USA has the power of veto. According to the U.S Constitution, all Bills, except proposed constitutional amendments, must be submitted to the President before becoming law, if he approves 'them and signs them, they become law. If he disapproves a Bill, he returns it to the House in which it originated with his objections within ten days. This is his 'Power of veto' or rejection of a Bill.

    The President's veto can be overridden by Congress, if the rejected Bill is again passed by a two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress. The Bill is then, again, sent to the President for his approval. In such a case, even if the President refuses to give his assent to the Bill, the Bill is passed over the veto of the President. However, it is to be noted that the Bills are rarely passed for the second time by the Congress. This is particularly due to the fact that the Congress is always short of time and finds it difficult to finish its normal work. Although between 1789 and 1925, the veto power was used 600 times, it was reversed by a two-thirds majority only on 36 occasions.

    There is, however, a means by which the temporary/qualified or limited veto of the President can become absolute. As most of the Bills are usually passed by 'Congress during the last ten days of the session, the President may not sign a Bill, he disapproves during these ten days, in which case the Bill will never become a law. This is known as his pocket veto. So the President can veto a Bill for good if he is opposed to it or does not want to take responsibility for it. Thus by his inaction, he, can veto a legislative measure.

    4. Types of veto available to USA President

    According to V.D. Mahajan
    "Many a Bill has been passed by the Congress and sent, to the President for approval. It is not binding on the President to approve them in every case. He has been given two kinds of veto power. If a Bill is sent to the President towards, the close of the session and he does not want to give his consent to it, he can kill the Bill by merely sleeping over it. By mere inaction, he' can kill the Bill. This is called 'the pocket veto'. The other kind of veto is that he can refuse to" give his assent to the Bill and return the same to the Congress. If the Congress is very particular about that measure, it can pass the same once, again by a two-thirds majority and send it to the President for his approval. In such a case, even if the President refuses to give his assent to the Bill, the Bill is passed over the veto of the President".

    5. Implication of veto by the Presidents
    Prior to 1865, the early Presidents used veto rarely and they employed it only in regards to the Bills which they considered to be unconstitutional.

    Since 1865, the veto has been increasingly employed and now the President’s Veto Bills which they regard as inexpedient, contrary to public policy, or for any other reason that is considered compelling. Reluctantly, the Presidents now play a more important part in legislation than they did before 1865. The veto power is now used as a means of controlling legislation and as a means to appeal to the people.


    Note: The vetoes are more common when the President and Congress belong to different parties. 
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