Sunday, October 4, 2015

don't sweat defense bill vetoes

How could a President veto a defense bill? How could members vote against overriding such a veto? The White House is threatening a veto of the defense authorization bill and some members of Congress are forecasting dire results.

Relax. It has happened before and with little consequence. The armed services committees have an astounding record of getting a bill enacted every year for 53 years. Along the way, however, there have been four vetoes [1978, 1988, 1996, and 2007]. In each case, the committees fairly promptly -- usually about 6 weeks --  introduced measures without the offending sections and got them passed and signed by the president. Details in this CRS report :

That means an Obama veto might lead to a failed override attempt, but more likely the committees will just admit defeat and start over with a revised bill. The members have a stronger incentive to maintain their record of successful enactments than leaving their 1,951 page bill and report in the trash can.

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