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Constitutional FAQ Answer #43

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Q43. "Recently we took a test on the Constitution that asked a question about a suspensive veto. No one in our class, including our teacher, had ever heard of this. I was wondering if you could please tell me what a suspensive veto is and how it can be overridden?"

A. Generally, a suspensive veto is the ability of an executive to return a bill to the legislature without the bill becoming law. In the United States, the President can veto a bill the Congress has passed. See Article 1, Section 7, Clause 2. The veto is suspensive because the Congress can override the veto, given a large enough majority. The opposite of a suspensive veto is an absolute veto, a power the President does not have. However, if a vetoed bill is not repassed by Congress, the bill dies, and the suspensive veto, at that point, could be considered absolute.


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