Wednesday 4 April 2007

The Veto

President Bush has said "If either the House or Senate version of this bill [The emergency supplemental spending bill] comes to my desk, I will veto it."

In the United Kingdom there is no veto. A bill is signed into law by the Queen giving the "Royal Assent". In theory she could refuse to sign - but this was last done in 1708, when Queen Anne refused her Assent to a Bill for settling the Militia in Scotland. Three hundred years on the view is that she cannot, by convention, refuse the Royal Assent. Executive power now rests with the Prime Minister and Cabinet - but as they control parliament (an assertion I will explain in a forthcoming blog), they can ensure that no bill gets through parliament - so the veto power is irrelevant.

President Bush has not used the constitutionally established veto power (US Constitution
Article 1 Section 7) very much - though faced for the first time with both Houses of Congress in opposition hands - he may be going into overdrive!

A very interesting article on the veto power can be found at