Legislative Veto in The United States - History


Starting in the 1930s, the concurrent resolution (as well as the simple resolution) was put to a new use—serving as the instrument to terminate powers delegated to the Chief Executive or to disapprove particular exercises of power by him or his agents. The legislative veto was first developed in context of the delegation to the Executive of power to reorganize governmental agencies and was first authorized by the Reorganization Act of 1939. It was furthered by the necessities of providing for national security and foreign affairs immediately prior to and during World War II.

The proliferation of congressional veto provisions in legislation over the years raised a series of interrelated constitutional questions. Congress until relatively recently had applied the veto provisions to some action taken by the President or another executive officer—such as a reorganization of an agency, the lowering or raising of tariff rates, the disposal of federal property—then began expanding the device to give itself a veto over regulations issued by executive branch agencies, and proposals were made to give Congress a veto over all regulations issued by executive branch independent agencies.

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