Pocket Veto

This week, the House passed the National Defense Appropriation Act with enough votes that, if repeated, would override a Presidential veto.

President Donald Trump has said he’ll veto the bill because it doesn’t include repeal of Section 230, which confers immunity from publication-related liability on Facebook, Twitter, Alphabet, and a few others.

Now the bill goes to the Senate for passage, and then to the President.

Here’s the thing, folks. As I write this post, it’s 9 December. Congress recesses at COB 18 December.

If Congress doesn’t extend its session and not go on recess as currently scheduled, the President can simply not sign the bill into law, and it’ll be pocket vetoed with no opportunity for an override vote in each house.

Here’s what Article I, Section 7 of our Constitution has to say on Presidential vetoes [emphasis added]:

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.

We’re already inside those 10 days.

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