United States Constitution – Article I sec 7
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.
The House of Representatives is the House most closely tied to the citizens. Direct election and a two-year “short leash” make them the most accountable to the voters. As such, they are the ones responsible for initiating the raising of revenues. This means Taxes, Duties, Imposts, Excises, and borrowing. This does not mean spending Bills must originate in the House of Representatives.
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 approve 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.
Every Bill agreed to by Congress is presented to the President for approval.
- If the President signs it, it becomes a law.
- If the President disapproves, he/she returns it to the originating House with his objections. That House must record the objections and reconsider it. If 2/3 of that House vote to override the veto (disapproval), it is sent to the other House for reconsideration. If the other House also votes by 2/3 majority to override the veto, it becomes a law.
- If the President neither signs it or returns it for more than 10 days (not counting Sundays), it becomes a law unless Congress adjourned before the 10 days are up.
All votes to override a veto are done by roll-call.
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 re-passed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
Generally, the President has the power of approval or disapproval over every “Order, Resolution, or Vote” that requires agreement between the Houses. This provides a check on the legislative process. To keep this power from being abused, Congress can override administrative disapproval with an overwhelming (2/3) vote by each House.
But that’s not the whole story. For one thing, the adjournment of Congress is given an exemption to this, though Art. II, sec. 3 gives the President certain authority over the convening and adjourning Congress.
For another thing, there are implications tied to the undefined terms.
Congressional bills are legislative proposals from the House of Representatives and Senate within the United States Congress. There are six different types of bills.
House bills (H.R.) and Senate bills (S.) require the approval of both chambers (ie House and Senate) and the signature of the President to become law.
House Joint Resolutions (H.J. Res.) and Senate Joint Resolutions (S.J. Res.) require the approval of both chambers and the signature of the President. Joint resolutions generally are used for limited matters, such as a single appropriation for a specific purpose and to propose amendments to the Constitution.
House Concurrent Resolutions (H. Con. Res.) and Senate Concurrent Resolutions (S. Con. Res.) require the approval of both chambers but do not require the signature of the President and do not have the force of law. Concurrent resolutions generally are used to make or amend rules that apply to both chambers.
House Simple Resolutions (H. Res.) and Senate Simple Resolutions (S. Res.) address matters entirely within the prerogative of one chamber or the other. They do not require the approval of the other chamber or the signature of the President, and they do not have the force of law.
My rule of thumb: if it affects more than Congress itself, it requires Presidential approval – unless a super-majority of Congress wants it badly enough.
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