THE CONGRESS: Turning Out the Pocket

The pocket veto is a minor but useful weapon in the President's arsenal. The U.S. Constitution provides that a bill passed by Congress becomes law ten days after it is sent to the President—unless Congress is adjourned at the end of that period. If such is the case, the President can kill a bill by simply pocketing it—doing nothing. Andrew Johnson was the first to think of using the pocket veto during an intrasession recess. Last week, in a historic decision, the third branch of Government ruled that the pocket veto can be used only when Congress has adjourned without...

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