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333.. The Origination of Money Bills, -The House has, at different times, returned to the Senate, or refused to consider, bills that the Senate had originated, on the ground that they were infractions of this clause. In 1871 the Senate passed a bill repealing an act extending the income tax, which the House returned as such infraction. Conference committees were appointed to adjust the difference, but the committees could not agree. The House committee maintained that the House has the right to originate all bills relating directly to taxation, including bills imposing or remitting taxes; the Senate committee maintained that th - Senate may originate bills repealing laws or portions of laws imposing taxes, even if the repeal render necessary the imposition of other taxes. In 1872 the Senate substituted for a House bill to repeal. existing taxes on tea and coffee, a bill containing a general revision of the laws imposing customs-duties and internal taxes. The House laid it on the table. The Senate adopted a report declaring, in effect, that it had no right to engraft on this particular House bill the substitute that it had adopted, but the House took no further notice of the matter. Again, in the session of 1888–89, the House passed a bill to reduce taxation and simplify the revenue collection laws; the Senate, under the form of an amendment, substituted a bill revising in a general way customs duties and internal taxes; the House Committee on Ways and Means reported a resolution declaring this unconstitutional, but the House never acted on the resolution.
While it is agreed that appropriation bills are not bills for raising revenue, still the practice has been for the House to originate them. The House has commonly laid on the table such bills coming from the Senate. President Garfield said in 1871: “Up to this time no general appropriation bill which originated in the Senate ever became a law.”
The practice still is for the House of Representatives to originate the general appropriation bills, but less stress is laid upon the privilege than formally. Each House has a Committee on Ways and Means and on Appropriations.
1 See his speech in H. R., The Right to Originate Money Bills, Works Vol. I. p. 674. i The rule is well settled in England that the House of Commons controls the public purse. The House of Lords can neither originate tax-bills and appropriation bills, nor amend them; it is practically denied the privilege of voting against them when matured by the Commons. The exclusive control of the purse by the Lower House represents much of the political progress made in England the last six hundred years. The principle on which this rule rests is the one that the Revolutionary Fathers contended for, viz., no taxation without representation. The House of Commons consists of the representatives of the Nation; the House of Lords is an hereditary body. The people's money can be voted only by the people's representatives. See Sir T. E. May : Parliamentary Practice, roth edition, pp. 50, 553, et seq.
334 Reason of the Rule in the United States. Naturally, when it was determined that representation in the Senate should be equal, and in the House according to numbers, the large States insisted upon inserting a rule in regard to money bills in the Constitution. In no other way, they said, could their property be protected against unfair taxation. The value of this concession was greatly overestimated by the large States; and this overestimate was due to a mistaken belief that the American Senate and House of Representatives stand in the same relation to the American people that the Houses of Lords and of Commons stand to the English people.
Section 7, Clause 2.-Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections, to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration two-thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two-thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. 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.
335. Reason for the Veto Power.-The argument by which this grant of power, popularly called the veto, is defended, is the familiar one of checks and balances. Congress is liable to pass bills that ought not to become laws; the President's negative may defeat them, or effect modifications; at all events, they ougut not to become laws unless they secure a two-thirds vote of both Houses. Nor is it easy to pass a law over the veto. He sends his objections to the House in which the bill originated, where they are entered in full on the Journal. The vote is by yeas and nays, and must also be entered on the Journal. If the bill fails to receive two-thirds of the vote given, the matter goes no farther; but if it receive that vote, then it goes to the other House, where it must pass the same ordeal.
336. Effects of a Refusal to Sign.-Sometimes the President neither signs nor vetoes a bill, when it becomes a law without his signature on the expiration of ten days (Sundays not included), unless Congress sooner adjourns. By simply retaining it, the President can defeat any bill that comes to him within ten days of the close of the session. He is popularly said, in this case, to "pocket" the bill or to give it a "pocket veto." This silent veto is absolute, and important measures have been defeated in this way. Hence there are three ways, so far as the President is concerned, in which a bill may become a law.
337. The Veto in the Convention.---The Colonial Governors, save those of Connecticut and Rhode Island who had no such power, used the veto vigorously. The Declaration of Independence charged the King with “refusing his assent to laws the most wholesome and bec: essary for the public good,” and with “forbidding his governors ta pass laws of immediate and pressing importance,” etc. Naturally, the people were fearful of such a dangerous power, and Massachusetts was the only State that, in its first constitution, gave its Executive even a qualified veto. The whole subject was warmly debated in the Convention. It was proposed to make a council of revision, consisting of the President and the Supreme Judges; to make the President's negative absolute; and to give the National Government a veto on State legislation. Finally, the moderate and necessary provision that we are discussing was agreed to. The exercise of the veto power has often given rise to much political controversy. Its free use by President Jackson was one cause of the organization of the Whig party. Nominally the British Crown has an absolute veto on all bills passed by Parliament, but it has not used it in a siugle instance since 1707.
Section 7, 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 re-passed by two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of
338. Bills, Orders, and Resolutions.-A bill is a form or draft of law presented to a legislative body, but not yet enacted into a law. The enacting clause of a National law is, “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled.” Mr. Jefferson thus distinguishes between an order and a resolution : “When the House commands, it is by an order. But facts, principles, and their own opinions and purposes are expressed in the form of resolutions." 2 Joint resolutions have the resolving clause, “Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives.” Joint resolutions are not distinguishable from bills, and are subject to the same rules. Other forms of resolutions are resolutions by the separate Houses and concurrent resolutions. Were it not for this clause, Congress might defeat, at least partially, the operation of the preceding one by calling its acts motions, votes, or resolutions instead of bills.
1Presidential Vetoes.-Washington vetoed 2 bills, Madison 6, Monroe 1, Jackson 12, Tyler 9, Polk 3, Pierce 9, Buchanan 7, Lincoln 3, Johnson 21, Grant 43, Hayes 12, Arthur 4, Cleveland 301, making 433 in all. One bill was passed over Tyler's veto, 5 over Pierce's, 15 over Johnson's, 4 over Grant's, I over Hayes's, i over Arthur's, and 2 over Cleveland's, making a total of 29. Several of the Presi. dents have sent to Congress protests relative to their exercise of the veto power. Previous to the 4th of March, 1889, 453 bills became laws by the 10-days' rule; 2 in Buchanan's term, 1 in Lincoln's, 18 in Johnson's, 136 in Grant's, 13 in Arthur's, and 283 in Cleveland's. All the Presidents previous to President Harrison sigued 21,759 acts and resolutions. The total of such acts and resolutions to find a place in the statute book within the same limits is 22, 246. The bills vetoed may be divided into two classes : those deemed unconstitutional, and those deemed unnecessary or inexpedient, the second being by far the larger class.--See Harvard Historical Monographs, No. I., 1890.
2 Manual of Parliamentary Practice,
339. Limitations of the Veto.-In 1794 the objection was made, in the case of Hollingsworth v. Virginia,' that Amendment XI, had not been constitutionally adopted, because it had not been presented to the President for his approval. The Attorney-General replied that this had not been done in case of the ten Amendments previously adopted. He argued, also, that an amendment “is a substantive act, unconnected with the ordinary business of legislation, and not within the policy or terms of investing the President with a qualified negative on the acts and resolutions of Congress.” The Supreme Court unanimously sustained this view, and declared the Amendment a part of the Constitution. And yet, the so-called “Douglas Amendment” was sent to President Buchanan, who approved it, March 2, 1861. In February, 1865, Congress sent to the President a joint resolution declaring that certain States were not entitled to Presideutial Electors because they vere tben in rebellion against the Government. President Lincoln signed the resolution, but sent to Congress a message declaring this unnecessary, as the two Houses had exclusive authority, under the Constitution, to count the Electoral votes. In March, 1866, the Houses adopted concurrent resolution declaring that no Senator or Represeutative should be admitted into either branch of Congress from any of the eleven States then considered in rebellion, until Congress should have declared such State entitled to such representation, and this resolution President Johnson was not asked to approve.
340. The Committee System.-Experience has proved it to be impossible for a large legislative assembly to do business efficiently without some interior organization whereby a few directing minds shall be charged with the preparation and conduct of business, either in whole or in part. This necessity has been met by different legislatures in different ways; but Congress has met it by the appointment of Standing Committees, so called because they are constituted according to the rules of the two Houses, and because they continue in charge of the same general subjects for a whole Congress, or a period of two years. The Senate committees are immediately chosen by the Senators voting by ballot, but the elections are practically controlled by party caucuses; the House committees are appointed by the Speaker. In either case the man first named on the committee is its chairman, The Senate committees consist of from two to thirteen members each; the House committees, of from three to seventeen. The committees originate some measures, and to them bills that are introduced by members are referred on their second reading, the particular committee designated being determined by the nature of the subject. Except that it may be instructed by yote
13 Dallas, 378.