BREAKING: BORING: In case you missed it -- and it was easy to do -- President Barack Obama has issued his first veto. And it was a veto of the continuing resolution [definition] that we discussed so often in the "This Week/Today in Congress" feature as being necessary to continue the operations of the government in the absence of the full compliment of enacted regular annual appropriations bills.
Still, why would a new president's first veto be such a yawner? Because the continuing resolution (H. J. Res. 64) ended up being superfluous, as the Defense appropriations bill (H.R. 3326) rolled up all the still-outstanding appropriations bills, so that everything was covered with its passage on December 19th.
The CR, also passed on the 19th, was a belt-and-suspenders measure, passed to cover any gaps in funding that might be created if the enrollment process took longer than expected and created any delays in moving the Defense bill to the White House for signature and subsequent enactment. But the process apparently moved with sufficient efficiency to obviate the need for the CR, and the President disposed of it accordingly, lest its enactment create any confusion or legal complications.
So it just wasn't any kind of really controversial veto, and that's why no one noticed. The only other aspect of the President's actions that merit additional examination is the fact that the veto itself was a belt-and-suspenders measure, in that he backed up a pocket veto by issuing a regular veto as well, just to be sure the job was done.
The enactment of H.R. 3326 (Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010, Public Law 111-118), which was signed into law on December 19, 2009, has rendered the enactment of H.J.Res. 64 (Continuing Appropriations, FY 2010) unnecessary. Accordingly, I am withholding my approval from the bill. (The Pocket Veto Case, 279 U.S. 655 (1929)).Ah, the poor pocket veto. I guess nobody believes in you anymore. Perhaps another casualty of George W. Bush's total disregard for pretty much anything and everything regarding Article I powers.
To leave no doubt that the bill is being vetoed as unnecessary legislation, in addition to withholding my signature, I am also returning H.J.Res. 64 to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, along with this Memorandum of Disapproval.
There really can be no doubt about the effectiveness of Obama's pocket veto. The Congress is adjourned sine die. Now everybody's going to do their pocket vetoes this way, which ultimately means that there'll end up being no such thing as a pocket veto. Maybe that's just not really an important loss, though.
See? I told you nobody cared. But maybe now you know a little something extra that'll serve you in good stead some day. Some... really slo-o-o-o-w day.