The Veto Power of the President

December 16, 1932

Report Outline
Exercise of Veto Power by Retiring Presidents
Exercise of Veto Power by Retiring Presidents
Origin and Development of the Veto Power
Employment of Veto Power Since Civil War
The “Pocket Veto” Power of the President
Special Focus

Exercise of Veto Power by Retiring Presidents

Threatende Hoover Vetoes of Democratic Measures

Three Measures which hold prominent places on the Democratic program of legislation for the present session of Congress are likely to be vetoed if finally approved by both houses and sent to the President before noon on March 4, 1933. They arc (1) a bill for legalization and taxation of beer, (2) a crop surplus control bill based on Democratic pledges during the 1932 campaign, and (3) the Philippine independence bill now pending in the Senate.

A beer bill, framed to take effect before the 18th amendment was repealed, would probably be vetoed by the present occupant of the White House on constitutional grounds. A crop surplus control bill and the Philippine independence bill might be vetoed both on constitutional grounds and on grounds of expediency. It is possible that the last-named measure, if it emerges from conference in a form acceptable to substantial majorities of the two houses, could be passed over President Hoover's veto. Whether the veto of a beer bill or a farm relief bill could be overridden in either house of the present Congress is doubtful. If these measures fail to become law by March 4, Roosevelt is expected to call a special session of the new Congress for action upon them shortly after he succeeds to the presidency.

The one measure on the Democratic program for this session which would not be subject to a presidential veto is a joint resolution submitting to the states a constitutional amendment repealing the 18th amendment. When Congress was notified by President Lincoln in 1865 that he had signed its joint resolution submitting the 13th amendment to the states, the Senate adopted a resolution informing him that his signature was unnecessary, and the Supreme Court later ruled that constitutional amendments need not be presented to the President for his approval. The Garner resolution for unqualified repeal of the 18th amendment was rejected by the House on the first day of the present session, December 5, 1932: yeas 272 to nays 144. The yeas were six short of the required two-thirds majority. It now appears that the only repeal amendment that could command the required majorities at this session is one which followed the formula recommended by President Hoover in his acceptance address by providing for protection of the dry states and forbidding the return of the saloon.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Executive Powers and the Presidency
Feb. 24, 2006  Presidential Power
Nov. 15, 2002  Presidential Power
Feb. 02, 2001  The Bush Presidency
Jun. 20, 1997  Line-Item Veto
Jun. 14, 1996  First Ladies
Oct. 21, 1988  Dangers in Presidential Transitions
Jun. 10, 1988  The Quandary of Being Vice President
Jan. 06, 1984  Presidential Advisory Commissions
Jul. 28, 1978  Presidential Popularity
Feb. 13, 1976  Evaluating Presidential Performance
Dec. 12, 1975  Presidential Protection
Jul. 11, 1973  Presidential Reorganization
Mar. 07, 1973  Presidential Accountability
Sep. 24, 1971  Presidential Diplomacy
Nov. 11, 1970  Vice Presidency
Oct. 02, 1968  Presidential Power
Mar. 14, 1966  War Powers of the President
Nov. 23, 1960  Transfer of Executive Power
Apr. 04, 1956  Vice Presidency
Oct. 15, 1952  Change of Presidents
Jun. 09, 1950  President and Mid-Term Elections
Oct. 20, 1948  Federal Patronage
Mar. 24, 1948  The South and the Presidency
Dec. 05, 1947  Military Leaders and the Presidency
Apr. 16, 1947  Veto Power of the President
Sep. 20, 1945  Succession to the Presidency
Sep. 12, 1940  The War Powers of the President
Feb. 11, 1938  Emergency Powers of the President
Jan. 06, 1938  The Power to Declare War
Dec. 28, 1937  Extension of the Veto Power
Dec. 28, 1936  Limitation of the President's Tenure
Mar. 12, 1935  The President and the Congress
Dec. 16, 1932  The Veto Power of the President
May 28, 1931  Presidential Commissions
Oct. 23, 1928  Presidential Appointments and the Senate
Mar. 21, 1928  Business Conditions in Presidential Years
Jan. 20, 1927  The Monroe Doctrine
Mar. 18, 1925  The President's Power of Appointment
Sep. 10, 1923  The President's Position on Patronage
Powers and History of the Presidency