In recent years conflicting budget priorities and divided political control have accentuated the institutional tensions between the executive and legislative branches inherent in the federal budget process. President Clinton, like his two predecessors, called for an item veto, or possibly expanded impoundment authority, to provide him with greater control over federal spending. This report provides a brief history of impoundment and discusses the debate surrounding the line item veto.
This report provides a brief overview of procedures involved in vetoing a bill and the ways Congress can respond to a presidential veto. Presidential vetoes are a rejection of legislation approved by majorities in both houses of Congress. Vetoes and congressional efforts to override them are often the reason for, or a reflection of, conflict between Congress and the President. The threat of a presidential veto can prompt the modification of bills moving through the legislative process. Tabular data are provided on the number of presidential vetoes exercised by each President from George Washington to William Clinton.