Override a Veto (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms

Override a Veto

Lowriders Petersen Museum, by julialat34
Lowriders Petersen Museum, by julialat34

If the president disapproves a bill and sends it back to Congress with his objections, Congress may try to override his veto and enact the bill into law. Neither chamber is required to attempt to override a veto. The override of a veto requires a recorded vote with a two-thirds majority in each chamber. The question to put to each chamber is “Shall the bill pass, the objections of the president to the contrary notwithstanding?” Historically, Congress has overridden fewer than ten percent of all presidential vetoes.

A Public Law may be enacted over a president’s veto, when Congress is successful in its attempt to override the president’s veto. Upon reconsideration and debate, the president’s veto may be overridden by a two-thirds vote in the chamber of origin of the bill (a quorum must be present). If the president’s veto is not overridden, the bill does not become law.


Senate votes to override President Obama’s veto of 9/11 bill


If the vote succeeds, an endorsement is made on the back of the bill affirming that one chamber has overridden the veto, and it is sent, with the accompanying message, to the other chamber for its action. If it is likewise reconsidered and passes with a two-thirds vote in the other chamber, the president’s veto is again overridden, and the bill is similarly endorsed. When both chambers thus override the presidential veto, the bill is enacted into law. It is not presented again to the president, but is delivered directly for deposit in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). It is printed, with the attestations of the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate to its passage over the president’s veto.


Also see







Legislative Drafter's Deskbook: A Practical Guide

Legislative Drafter’s Deskbook: A Practical Guide

Pocket Constitution

Pocket Constitution

Citizen's Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials

Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates

Congressional Procedure

Congressional Procedure


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