It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
If the President does not sign the bill within the required time period, the bill becomes law by default. However, the exception to this rule is if Congress adjourns before the ten days have passed and the President has not yet signed the bill. In such a case, the bill does not become law; it is effectively, if not actually, vetoed. If the President does sign the bill, the bill becomes law. Ignoring legislation, or "putting a bill in one's pocket" until Congress adjourns is thus called a pocket veto. Since Congress cannot vote while in adjournment, a pocket veto cannot be overridden. James Madison became the first president to use the pocket veto in 1812.
Bush announced he would scuttle the bill with a "pocket veto" — essentially, letting the bill die without his signature 10 days after he received it, or the end of Dec. 31.
But that can happen only when Congress is not in session; otherwise, the bill becomes law without a formal veto in 10 days. And the Senate maintains it is in session because it has held brief — sometimes only seconds long — meetings every two or three days with only one senator present.
The White House's view is that Congress has adjourned.
It was unclear how the executive and legislative branches would determine whether, in fact, Bush's lack of signature would amount to vetoing the bill or turning it into law.
"My withholding of approval from the bill precludes its becoming law," Bush said in a statement of disapproval sent to Congress.
The president said he was sending the bill and his outline of objections to the House clerk "to avoid unnecessary litigation about the non-enactment of the bill that results from my withholding approval, and to leave no doubt that the bill is being vetoed."
Louis Fisher, a constitutional scholar at the Library of Congress indicated: "“The administration would be on weak grounds in court because they would be insisting on what the Framers decidedly rejected: an absolute veto.