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first by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and afterward by the President of the Senate; an endorse ment is made upon it, certifying whether the bill originated in the Senate or the House of Representatives, and it is then presented by the committee to the President of the United States for his approval, the day of such presentation being entered on the journal both of the Senate and the House.
§ 174. If the President approves it, he signs it; if he does not approve it, he returns it, together with his objections in writing, to the house in which it originated. His power is confined to the approval or rejection of bills; he cannot propose any amendments in them. The power of the President to object to bills and refuse to sign them, is commonly known as the veto power.
$175. In ancient Rome there was a body of officers called the Tribunes of the People, whose proper object was the protection of the people against the encroachments of the Senate and Consuls. In the earlier times of their existence, they could not enter the Senate, but had their seats before the door of the Senate-room, where they heard all the deliberations, and could hinder the passage of any decree by the single word veto, which is a Latin word, signifying I forbid.
$176. In England, the king possesses an absolute veto, though it is rarely exercised, which prevents the passage of the law against which it is exerted. The President's veto is not absolute, but qualified. It has no other effect than to cause the legislature to reconsider the proposed law and examine it more carefully, and to suspend or delay its passage until two-thirds of the members of each house agree to pass it.
$177. The object of the veto is to enable the President to protect the executive department of the government against the encroachments of the legislative department, and sc to prevent his constitutional authority from being weakened or taken from him. It is also intended to be used to check the passage of rash, improper, and unconstitutional laws, and laws enacted without due consideration, as in times of temporary political excitement or violent party spirit. $178. The objections of the President are to be entered on the journals of the house in which the bill originated, in order that they may be permanently recorded and preserved. The vote upon the passage of the law is required to be taken by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill are entered upon the journals, so that the members may be induced to vote with more care and deliberation. $179. If, upon reconsideration, the bill is passed by a vote of two-thirds of the house in which it originated, it is then to be sent, together with the President's objections, to the other house, where it is also reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of that house, it becomes a law without the signature of the President, and notwithstanding his objections. $180. If the President could retain a bill, which had been sent to him, for an indefinite period of time, without affixing his signature, its passage might thus be prevented or delayed. It is, therefore, provided that, if it shall not be returned by him within ten days, (Sundays excepted,) it shall become a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless he be prevented from returning it by the adjourn ment of Congress, in which case it shall not become a law. § 181. An act of Congress goes into effect the day on which it is approved by the President, unless the act itself appoint a different time. The commencement of an act of Congress is as follows: “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representataves of America in Congress assembled, That,” &c.
[Clause 3.] “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 repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations pre scribed in the Case of a Bill.”
§ 182. Were it not for the above clause, Congress might pass measures in the form of orders or resolutions instead of passing them by bills, and thus evade the President's veto. It is, therefore, provided that orders, resolutions, or votes to which the concurrence or joint assent both of the Senate and House of Representatives is necessary, shall be sent
to the President for his signature, and be subject to the same regulations in that respect as if they were bills.
$183. THE object of this important section is to .. 4 merate the various powers which have been expressly granted to Congress by the Constitution.
$184. The mere grant of a power to Congress by the Constitution does not of itself imply that the States are prohibited from exercising the same power. It is not alone the existence of the power in Congress, but its actual exer- cise by that body, which restricts the States in the exercise of the same power. For instance, Congress, as we shall see, is authorized to establish uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States; but it has been held that the States may pass bankrupt laws, provided there be no law on the subject enacted by Congress. It is when the language in which a power is granted to Congress, or the nature of the power, requires that it should be enjoyed by Congress exclusively, that the subject is taken from the legislatures of the States.
Powers which may be exercised both by Congress and the States are termed concurrent powers; those which are exercised by Congress alone are termed exclusive powers.
[Clause 1.] “The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the
THE POWERS VESTED-IN CONGRESS...
... 101 Debts and provide for the common Defence and generai Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”
§ 185. It has been a subject of frequent discussion whether the words “to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States,” grant a separate and independent power to Congress, or whether they are used only to point out the purpose for which the taxes, duties, and imposts are to be collected. The latter opinion is generally received as correct. The clause conveys the power of taxation, yet restrains the purpose to which it is to be exercised—to payment of the debts and provision for the common defence and general welfare of the United States. § 186. The constitutional power of Congress to lay taxes is thus limited to three purposes: (1.) To pay the public debt. (2.) To provide for the common defence, (3.) To provide for the general welfare. These objects refer to the common interests of all the States, and exclude such purposes as are of a local or partial nature, the advantages of which are enjoyed only by one or a few of the individual States. § 187. Taxes have been defined in § 78. Duties are charges upon goods and merchandise imported or exported, that is, brought into or taken out of the country. But they are almost wholly confined to charges upon imported goods; for those laid upon exported articles are designed rather to check the exportation of the articles than to raise a revenue. Imposts is a word used in a general sense as
similar in meaning to tax or public burden. Excises are