Understanding the Pocket Veto: A Powerful Tool for U.S. Presidents to Stop Legislation from Becoming Law

pocket veto

president’s power to kill a bill, if Congress is not in session, by not signing it for 10 days

A pocket veto is a veto that is automatically triggered when the President of the United States fails to act on a bill passed by Congress. In order for a bill to become law, it must be passed by both houses of Congress (i.e. the House of Representatives and the Senate) and then signed into law by the President. If the President doesn’t sign the bill and returns it to Congress within ten days, excluding Sundays, the bill becomes law without the President’s signature.

However, if the President doesn’t sign the bill and Congress is adjourned, the President can use the pocket veto. This means that the President doesn’t have to actually veto the bill but just let it expire by not taking action on it. This is considered a more powerful form of veto because it can’t be overridden by Congress.

The pocket veto has been used infrequently throughout history, but it has been a tool for presidents to kill bills they don’t want to become law without facing political backlash for actually vetoing the legislation. It is important to note that Congress has the ability to override a presidential veto with a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate, but they cannot override a pocket veto.

More Answers:

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