Can the President veto a bill? Please explain.

Expert Answers

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Yes, the president can veto bills passed by both houses of Congress and sent to him for action.

After both houses of Congress pass identical versions of a bill, the bill is sent to the president. The president has three possible courses of action regarding every bill sent to the White House.

1. The president may sign the bill, which means it will be enacted as a law.

2. The president may veto the bill, meaning that it cannot be enacted into law. The bill is returned to Congress and the two houses may try to override the presidential veto.

3. The president may ignore the bill. If the president does nothing with the bill for a period of ten days and Congress is still in session after those ten days have passed, the bill becomes law at that time. However, if Congress adjourns before the end of the ten day period, the bill does not become law. This is popularly known as a "pocket veto".

These procedures are established in Article 1 Section 7 of the United States Constitution.


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