On this day. 1792: George Washington issued the first presidential veto, rejecting a bill to give more House seats to northern states. Washington issued just two vetoes during his eight years in office. In 1797, he rejected a bill that would have reduced the number of Army cavalry units.
A presidential veto occurs when a president rejects a bill that has been passed by the House and Senate. No bill can become a law unless the president signs it, and while Congress can vote to override a presidential veto, causing the bill to become law without the president's approval, this rarely happens. Usually, the mere threat of a presidential veto is enough motivation for Congress to modify the bill before approving it and sending it to the White House.
Quote of the day
"Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder." –George Washington
More from West Wing Reports...
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- 10 things you need to know today: November 24, 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- What would it take for humans to build a settlement on Mars?
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Want to eliminate the scourge of frat culture? Lower the drinking age.
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- House hunting: 7 stunning castles in Europe
Subscribe to the Week