2

Why the duplicative language at the end of Art. 1. Sec. 7 as to the process for presenting and vetoing legislation in the last two paragraphs?

Article 1, Section 7:

1: All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

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.

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 repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

5

Because an "Order, Resolution, or Vote" is not the same as a Bill, and does not become a law. Thus the procedure for presentation, leading to signing, pocket acceptance, veto, or pocket veto, does not apply to Orders, Resolutions, or Votes. Therefore it is repeated to indicate that it applies to those legislative acts also.

A "Vote", in the sense used here is a legislative decision or action that is neither a Bill nor a resolution. For example, the decision on when to adjourn to, that is, when Congress will come back into session after an adornment, is a Vote. A "Bill" is a proposed law. If it is passed by Congress and not vetoed, or if any veto is overridden, it becomes a law. Other legislative actions do not become laws, but otherwise go through much the same procedure.

Note that some legislative actions do notneed the "Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives". For example, when the House votes on a new Speaker, it is a vote of the House only, and neither the Senate nor the President has a say.

  • Thank you greatly. A further question, in what way do "Bill" and "Vote" differ in that a Bill requires a Vote? – lgnuckolls Jan 27 at 1:10
  • @lgnuckolls See edited answer above. Is there more that you wan to know about this, or are you ready to accept the answer? – David Siegel Jan 28 at 2:29
  • @lgnuckolls A good example of an "Order, Resolution, or Vote" which is not a "Bill" would be a declaration of war, or a ratification of an interstate compact. – ohwilleke Jan 28 at 17:08
  • Does this mean that, in the present era, we need greater clarity and less ambiguous legal drafting. Or, is this still acceptable? – lgnuckolls Jan 29 at 3:19
  • @lgnuckolls Standards of clarity in legal drafting ha ve changed, in general for the better I think. But those are largely customs and common practices. There is no law or constitutional provision preventing poor drafting, although if a criminal law is so poorly drafted that reasonable non-lawyers cannot understand what it prohibits, the US Supreme Court may declare it void for "vagueness", this has happened on a number of cases. But the above provision is not in my view unclear, one just needs to understand the meaning of "Bill" and "Order, Resolution, or Vote" as used here. – David Siegel Jan 29 at 3:24

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