Clause 1. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.Clause 2. Every Bill whi...
Clause 1. Revenue Bills
Clause 1. All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
Clause 2. Approval by the President
Clause 2. Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approves he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return in which Case it shall not be a Law.
Clause 3. Presentation of Resolutions
Clause 3. Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitation prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
The Legislative Process
Insertion of this clause was another of the devices sanctioned by the Framers to preserve and enforce the separation of powers.
Only bills to levy taxes in the strict sense of the word are comprehended by the phrase "all bills for raising revenue"; bills for other purposes, which incidentally create revenue, are not included.
Approval by the President
The President is not restricted to signing a bill on a day when Congress is in session.
The Veto Power
The veto provisions, the Supreme Court has told us, serve two functions. On the one hand, they ensure that "the President shall have suitable opportunity to consider the bills presented to him. ... It is to safeguard the President's opportunity that Paragraph 2 of § 7 of Article I provides that bills which he does not approve shall not become law if the adjournment of the Congress prevents their return."
In one major respect, however, the President's actual desires may be frustrated by the presentation to him of omnibus bills or of bills containing extraneous riders. During the 1980s, on several occasions, Congress lumped all the appropriations for the operation of the Government into one gargantuan bill. But the President must sign or veto the entire bill; doing the former may mean he has to accept provisions he would not sign standing alone, and doing the latter may have other adverse consequences. Numerous Presidents from Grant on have unsuccessfully sought by constitutional amendment a "line-item veto" by which individual items in an appropriations bill or a substantive bill could be extracted and vetoed. More recently, beginning in the FDR Administration, it has been debated whether Congress could by statute authorize a form of the line-item veto, but, again, nothing passed.
That the interpretation of the provisions has not been entirely consistent is evident from a review of the only two Supreme Court decisions construing them. In The Pocket Veto Case,
However, in Wright v. United States,
The tension between the two cases, even though at a certain level of generality they are consistent because of factual differences, has existed without the Supreme Court yet having occasion to review the issue again. But in Kennedy v. Sampson,
The two-thirds vote of each House required to pass a bill over a veto means two-thirds of a quorum.
Presentation of Resolutions
Concerned that Congress might endeavor to evade the veto clause by designating a measure having legislative import as something other than a bill, the Framers inserted cl. 3.
The Legislative Veto.-Beginning in the 1930s, the concurrent resolution (as well as the simple resolution) was put to a new use-serving as the instrument to terminate powers delegated to the Chief Executive or to disapprove particular exercises of power by him or his agents. The "legislative veto" or "congressional veto" was first developed in context of the delegation to the Executive of power to reorganize governmental agencies,
The proliferation of "congressional veto" provisions in legislation over the years raised a series of interrelated constitutional questions.
In INS v. Chadha,
In determining that veto of the Attorney General's decision on suspension of deportation was a legislative action requiring presentment to the President for approval or veto, the Court set forth the general standard. "Whether actions taken by either House are, in law and in fact, an exercise of legislative power depends not on their form but upon 'whether they contain matter which is properly to be regarded as legislative in its character and effect.' [T] he action taken here . . . was essentially legislative," the Court concluded, because "it had the purpose and effect of altering the legal rights, duties and relations of persons, including the Attorney General, Executive Branch officials and Chadha, all outside the legislative branch."
The other major component of the Court's reasoning in Chadha stemmed from its reading of the Constitution as making only "explicit and unambiguous" exceptions to the bicameralism and presentment requirements. Thus the House alone was given power of impeachment, and the Senate alone was given power to convict upon impeachment, to advise and consent to executive appointments, and to advise and consent to treaties; similarly, the Congress may propose a constitutional amendment without the President's approval, and each House is given autonomy over certain "internal matters," e.g., judging the qualifications of its members. By implication then, exercises of legislative power not falling within any of these "narrow, explicit, and separately justified" exceptions must conform to the prescribed procedures: "passage by a majority of both Houses and presentment to the President."
The breadth of the Court's ruling in Chadha was evidenced in its 1986 decision in Bowsher v. Synar.
That Chadha does not spell the end of some forms of the legislative veto is evident from events since 1983, which have seen the enactment of various devices, such as "report and wait" provisions and requirements for various consultative steps before action may be undertaken. But the decision has stymied the efforts in Congress to confine the discretion it confers through delegation by giving it a method of reviewing and if necessary voiding actions and rules promulgated after delegations.
The Line Item Veto.-For more than a century, United States Presidents had sought the authority to strike out of appropriations bills particular items, to veto "line items" of money bills and sometimes legislative measures as well. Finally, in 1996, Congress approved and the President signed the Line Item Veto Act.
Although Congress in passing the Act considered itself to have been delegating power,
prohibiting the availability of certain funds for a particular purpose without the prior approval of the Committees on Appropriations.