Veto Power of the President

April 16, 1947

Report Outline
The President and the Majority
Origin and Early Use of Veto Power
Conversion of Veto into Power of Revision
Special Focus

The President and the Majority

Major Republican Bills in Danger of Veto

The Threat of presidential veto hangs over at least three pieces of legislation which have a high place on the program of the new Republican majority in Congress. The measures in jeopardy are (1) the bill to outlaw portal-to-portal pay suits and to restrict certain other types of claims under federal wage-hour statutes, (2) the income tax reduction bill, and (3) the omnibus labor bill now pending before the House.

The portal-to-portal bill was passed by the House, Feb. 28, by the overwhelming vote of 345 to 56, and by the Senate, Mar. 21, 64 to 24. It has not yet reached the White House, but Sen. Lucas (Ill.), Democratic whip, gave warning when the bill was under consideration in the Senate that “when President Truman gets hold of this bill, it will come back here with his veto.”

If the Senate accepts the income tax reduction bill in anything like the form in which it was approved by the House, Mar. 27, a return of the bill without the President's signature is regarded as certain. Truman said in his budget message, Jan. 11, that there was “no justification now for tax reduction.” And in his Economic Report, Jan. 8, he said: “In the present economic situation it is clear that it would be unsound fiscal policy to reduce taxes.” The House vote for passage of the tax reduction bill—273 to 137—was one short of the two-thirds majority that would be needed to override a veto.

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