pocket veto


Definition of pocket veto

: an indirect veto of a legislative bill by an executive through retention of the bill unsigned until after adjournment of the legislature

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Other Words from pocket veto

pocket veto transitive verb

Examples of pocket veto in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One possibility, however unlikely, is that Trump could attempt to kill the bill with a pocket veto, reports Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner chief congressional correspondent. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "Will he or won’t he? Trump veto threat hangs over defense policy bill that’s a multi-pronged bipartisan rebuke," 7 Dec. 2020 Whitmer spokeswoman Tiffany Brown confirmed the pocket veto but would not state the reason. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Whitmer uses 'pocket veto' on bill to allow expungement of first-time drunk driving," 5 Jan. 2021 Up until the 1990s, the pocket veto was used routinely by presidents, but Congress in recent years has tended to hold pro forma sessions rather than adjourning. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Trump and Congress to face off next week over defense policy bill," 5 Dec. 2020 The silence amounted to a pocket veto of the proposal. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "Pope Francis Sets Aside Proposal on Married Priests," 12 Feb. 2020 Passed in 1988, the amendment prohibited pocket vetoes of bills by committee chairpersons, instead requiring any bill brought before the Colorado House or Senate to receive a hearing and a vote. Carina Julig, The Denver Post, "Wayne Knox dies: Longest serving Colorado House representative was 92," 22 July 2019 The tradition was intended to give Senators a chance to flag a particular problem with a nominee that others might not know about, but it was never intended as an ideological pocket veto. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Senate Blue-Slip Bluster," 11 Oct. 2017 President Johnson almost let the bill die via pocket veto during Congress’s summer recess of 1966. Spenser Mestel, Longreads, "My Journey to the Heart of the FOIA Request," 20 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pocket veto.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pocket veto

1842, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for pocket veto

Time Traveler

The first known use of pocket veto was in 1842

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Statistics for pocket veto

Last Updated

18 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pocket veto.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pocket%20veto. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for pocket veto

pocket veto


English Language Learners Definition of pocket veto

US : a method that the President can use to prevent a bill from becoming a law by not signing the bill before the session of Congress ends

pocket veto

pock·​et veto

Legal Definition of pocket veto

: a veto of legislation that occurs indirectly when an executive refrains from signing the legislation and the adjournment of the legislature prevents its automatic enactment (as upon expiration of ten days)

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