Return of the Veto?

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tags: Obama



For all of the Republican handwringing over President Obama's use—or overuse—of executive authority, there is one exclusive presidential power he has barely wielded at all: the veto.

Obama has rejected just two bills passed by Congress in his nearly six years in office. That's the fewest of any president since James Garfield, who didn't veto a single bill, but lasted only six months in the White House before his assassination in 1881. And when you look at presidents who have served as long as Obama has, you'd have to go back to James Monroe, the nation's fifth president, to find a chief executive who has formally clashed with Congress so rarely. Monroe vetoed just one bill in his two terms, according to records kept by the Senate.

That's about to change for Obama in January, when Republicans control both the House and the Senate. For the last four years, the president has issued dozens of veto threats, but Majority Leader Harry Reid has kept conservative House bills from reaching his desk.




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