Veto (

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms


Veto! - 3d Illustration, by DonkeyHotey

Veto! - 3d Illustration, by DonkeyHotey

A veto is the president’s disapproval of a legislative measure passed by Congress.

After both chambers of Congress have passed a bill, it is enrolled, then is sent to the president for his action. Under the Constitution (Article. I. Section. 7.), the president has 10 days (not including Sundays) to approve the bill. When the ten-day period (excluding Sundays) extends beyond the date of the adjournment of the Congress, and the president does not sign the bill prior to the expiration of that period, it fails to become law. This is known as a pocket veto.

More often, if the president disapproves of a bill, he actively vetoes it and returns it to the chamber of origin without his approval, along with his objections to the bill — known as his “veto message.” If Congress does not act to override the veto, the bill dies.

Also see Congress by the Numbers; Pocket Veto; Override a Veto; § 6.292, Vetoes and Veto Overrides: Presidential Clout, in Congressional Deskbook.




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