Will Obama "not signing" H.R. 3808 keep it from becoming law?
October 7, 2010 11:05 AM   Subscribe

Will Obama "not signing" H.R. 3808 keep it from becoming law?

Today, the White House announced that President Obama will not sign H.R. 3808, the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010, and will return the bill to the House of Representatives.

My understanding is that this kind of "pocket veto" only works when the Senate is not in session.
posted by Joe Beese to Law & Government (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
It doesn't sound like a pocket veto but a standard one to me..

He vetos it.. sends it back to be revised or congress overrides his veto..
posted by royalsong at 11:09 AM on October 7, 2010


Not an answer, but a clarification. WSJ says: "Mr. Obama hasn't yet issued a veto during his presidency. In this instance, he will send the bill back to Congress using a process known as a "pocket veto.""
posted by smackfu at 11:16 AM on October 7, 2010


The Senate has adjourned
posted by exogenous at 11:17 AM on October 7, 2010


So yes, by not signing it is a pocket veto.
posted by exogenous at 11:19 AM on October 7, 2010


[comment removed - AskMe is not and should not be a mini-MeFi]
posted by jessamyn at 11:27 AM on October 7, 2010


So yes, by not signing it is a pocket veto.

Your Wikipedia link includes the following:

In December 2007, President George W. Bush claimed that he had pocket vetoed H.R. 1585, the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008," even though the House of Representatives had designated agents to receive presidential messages before adjourning. ... House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated: "Congress vigorously rejects any claim that the president has the authority to pocket-veto this legislation, and will treat any bill returned to the Congress as open to an override vote."

Do we know if such agents have been designated in this case?
posted by Joe Beese at 12:04 PM on October 7, 2010


The Senate has not adjourned. It is merely in recess, meeting every couple of days in pro forma session to keep "adjounment" rules from kicking into effect.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:04 PM on October 7, 2010


Here's the official calendar of the Senate--they're meeting Friday. Tuesday's meeting lasted all of 31 seconds.

Technically, they're still in session from October 1--they never adjourned that day, so we're still in the same "legislative day."
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:08 PM on October 7, 2010


I defer to the honorable MrMoonPie, who is in a better position than me to know about such things. Seems that the AFP article I linked above was sloppy and the Senate is in recess, not adjournment.
posted by exogenous at 12:16 PM on October 7, 2010


Really, though, the answer is "we'll see." This is a gray area that's still being worked out
The Congress has interpreted the President's ability to pocket veto a bill to be limited to adjournment ''sine die'' of a Congress and not to interim adjournments or first session adjournments where the originating House of Congress through its agents is able to receive a veto message for subsequent reconsideration by that same Congress when it reconvenes. The extent of pocket veto authority has not been definitively decided by the courts.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:23 PM on October 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


"This will be the second pocket veto of Obama’s presidency."*
posted by ericb at 1:03 PM on October 7, 2010


"The Senate quietly passed the foreclosure bill in a voice vote before adjourning to campaign for the midterm elections. The House passed the measure in April.

Gibbs said Obama decided to put aside the legislation 'out of an abundance of caution' and promised, 'we will as an administration work with Congress to fix this.'"
posted by ericb at 1:09 PM on October 7, 2010


September 30, 2010:
"The House of Representatives will be adjourned until Monday November 15, and though the full Senate will be adjourned until Friday November 12, various Senate committees will still be holding meetings between now and then."
posted by ericb at 1:12 PM on October 7, 2010


AP: Obama issues pocket veto of foreclosure docs bill.

Politico: Barack Obama uses pocket veto.
posted by ericb at 1:17 PM on October 7, 2010


ericb, I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine. That use of adjournment is simply incorrect. Look on the Senate's own site--they met Tuesday the 5th, and will again Friday the 8th.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:18 PM on October 7, 2010


I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine.

So you've told us before. ; ) I know ... you were referencing a MeFi meme.

MrMoonPie, I'm merely providing quotes from The A.P., The Examiner, The Hill, Politico and ThinkProgess. Take the debate up with them -- and the many other media outlets which are deeming this a "pocket veto."
posted by ericb at 1:28 PM on October 7, 2010


How about Tuesday's Congressional Record, then?

Nobody's quite sure about the constitutionality of this scenario. The President (and, clearly, lots of other folks) think it's a legit pocket veto; the Congress likely does not.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:31 PM on October 7, 2010


FWIW -- the White House is itself calling this a 'pocket veto.'

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs: "“So the President is exercising a pocket veto, sending that legislation back to Congress to iron out some of those unintended consequences."

... the Senate is in recess, not adjournment.

Yes, some of the media are reporting it as such: "A pocket veto happens when a President does not sign a bill while Congress is on recess.
posted by ericb at 1:32 PM on October 7, 2010


Nobody's quite sure about the constitutionality of this scenario.

I now know that!
posted by ericb at 1:33 PM on October 7, 2010


National Journal: Pocket Veto Threat Raises Constitutional Question.
posted by ericb at 1:35 PM on October 7, 2010


So, here's my prediction--Congress will quietly accept the pocket veto and pass another, similar bill when they come back in November, which Obama will quietly sign. I just don't think the Congressional leadership has the political will to have a face-off with the President about this particular bill, and I don't see them being antagonistic enough to take the opportunity to contest this on principle, either. There will be some grumblings from Congress about how they could have fought this if they wanted to, but then everybody will smile and shake hands and sweep the whole thing under the rug.

That's my guess, anyway.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:51 AM on October 8, 2010


As pointed out by Smedleyman in the thread on the blue, the President has now made a clear veto.
posted by exogenous at 6:48 AM on October 9, 2010


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