Has President Obama abused his Power by Vetoing a Bill passed by both Houses of Congress?

On another forum, there was an allegation that President Obama abused his power when he vetoed the Bill that both Houses of Congress recently passed to eliminate what’s known as Obamacare, the national health care plan called The Affordable Care Act.

The allegation said, “Why should Congress make the effort to pass bills only to have them vetoed by the President? To say that this has been a ‘do nothing’ Congress is to ignore the fact that there hasn’t been anything they could do consistent with their beliefs and the beliefs of the people who elected them. If they did so, they would be betraying the trust of the voters.”

But the Framers of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers, gave every President of the United States the power to veto Bills passed by Congress and prevent the legislative branch from becoming too powerful. This is an illustration of the separation of powers integral to the U.S. Constitution.

While the word “veto” does not appear in the Constitution the power of the President to refuse to sign legislation is clearly outlined in the Constitution:

“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.” –  U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 7, clause 2

Note, Article I was not added to the U.S. Constitution by an Amendment. Therefore the veto power of a U.S. President comes from the Founding Fathers as another method to control the abuse of power by another branch of the Federal government.

Therefore, President Obama has not abused his veto power. In fact, he has only used his Constitutional veto power 8 times and none were overridden with a two-thirds vote in both Houses of Congress as the U.S. Constitution spells out in detail.

In fact, G. W. Bush used his Constitutional veto power 12 times and 4 were overridden by both Houses of Congress.

President Bill Clinton used his veto power 37 times and 2 were overridden by Congress.

H. W. Bush used his Presidential veto power as written in the U.S. Constitutions by the Founding fathers 44 times and only 1 was overridden.

Ronald Reagan used his veto power 78 times and had 9 overridden by Congress.

In total, there have been 2,570 vetoes by U.S. Presidents and only 110 were overridden by Congress. There have only been six presidents who never used their veto power. Do you know who they were, and who used the Presidential veto the most?

Here’s the link to the list of Presidential vetoes all the way back to George Washington, who used his Constitutional veto power 2 times. If you are curious to discover if Congress overrode Washington’s 2 vetoes, you’ll have to click the link and scroll to the bottom of the list that is found on the U.S. Senate’s website.

If you are reading this Blog post and have read or heard that President Obama abused his power by using the presidential veto as it is spelled out in the U.S. Constitution, then whatever source you got this idea from is a liar and a fraud and cannot be trusted—ever.

Never forget what Abraham Lincoln, who used his veto power 7 times, said: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Several presidents before Obama failed to get a national health care plan through Congress: for instance, Truman, Nixon, Carter and Clinton.

Do you remember the original question in the 2nd paragraph of this post: “Why should Congress make the effort to pass bills only to have them vetoed by the President?”

Well, since Obama has been President, Congress has enacted 1,080 laws and Obama vetoed EIGHT, less than one percent. – govtrack.us


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy followed by his award winning memoir Crazy is Normal.

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8 responses to “Has President Obama abused his Power by Vetoing a Bill passed by both Houses of Congress?”

  1. Lloyd, it is not that they know nothing about our constitution, they really do not believe in the constitution. It is for that reason so many support someone like Trump. I was unfriended by someone on Facebook when I wrote against Trump’s idea of expelling all Muslims. She said that when he becomes president, she prays someone like me will be arrested and shot as a traitor. She went on to say that she wants Trump to arrest and shoot all liberals so that he will make “America Great Again.”

    1. I know there are people like the woman who unfriended you on Facebook and prayed that someone like us would be arrested and shot as traitors if Trump gets allected. I also know that these fools—including Trump—have never been to war. If it comes down to a Trump ending up being the dictator for life of the U.S.—because it is obvious to me that is what he thinks and wants—-it isn’t going to be that easy to shoot all of us liberals who are all left of the far right.

      According to Gallup about 20% (64 million) of Americans are very conservatives. That means they will have to execute the other 80% or 256 million Americans to make “America Great Again.” I wonder if these very conservative fools even know what that means.

      To get an idea of who this 20% is, far-right politics commonly include authoritarianism, anti-communism, and nativism. Often, the term “far right” is applied to fascists and neo-Nazis,and major elements of fascism have been deemed clearly far-right, such as its belief that supposedly superior people have the right to dominate society while purging allegedly inferior elements, and—in the case of Nazism—genocide of people deemed to be inferior. Claims that superior people should proportionally have greater rights than inferior people are sometimes associated with the far right.

      The far right has historically favoured an elitist society based on belief of the legitimacy of the rule of a supposed superior minority over the inferior masses. Far-right politics usually involves anti-immigration and anti-integration stances towards groups that are deemed inferior and undesirable. Concerning the socio-cultural dimension (nationality, culture and migration), one far-right position could be the view that certain ethnic, racial or religious groups should stay separate, and that the interests of one’s own group should be prioritized.

      1. They are also under the false conception that even though I do believe in the regulation of guns that liberals will not fight back. Guess what!!! We liberals will get guns if someone like Trump attempts to create a totalitarian state. When you no longer have anything to lose, you must fight back. I believe that if the far right forces us into a civil war, it will be bloody. There is also the possibility that the United States may never again be reconstituted. The northeast, Midwest and west may recreate a democratic republic while the south may end up remaining an authoritarian dictatorship made up of white fundamentalists. And without the benefit of northern money, commerce and industry, it will end up being poor. I would stick such a state with a punitive tariff to pay for the death and havoc they will cause when these fundamentalists destroy our present democratic republic. Getting back to the present, they are creating a chasm within the body politic of this country that I fear will not be breached.

      2. Just because someone is labeled a liberal or a progressive doesn’t mean they don’t own firearms. I own several and live in a state with pretty strict regulations for buying a firearm. Those regulations don’t stop residents of California from legally buying firearms.

      3. My hubby and I own two shotguns and a rifle, and he is a hunter. he gave my grandson a shotgun for his 16th birthday.
        Just because I want some sanity to applied to this issue, and to end the CORRUPTION AND LIES (FOR THAT IS WHAT IT IS) does not mean I am anti- 2nd Amendment.

        THAT is their rant. For crying out loud, you need a license to drive a car or to fish in a state park. More Americans have died from guns from 2004 to 2010 then died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some them were children whenever had a chance to live.

      4. I own two shotguns and a high caliber lever action hunting rifle in addition to three pistols, one a revolver and two automatics. I also keep them in a fire proof safe with lots of ammo. Three of these firearms I have owned for decades but the last two I bought required me to go through a screening process to make sure I was deemed safe. The only thing that is holding me back from buying more is money. Legal firearms have become very expensive. I’ve owned my own firearms since 1968, and I haven’t murdered anyone yet or even attempted to killed myself.

        And I haven’t voted for a Republican since that backstabbing, manipulative, lying, Reagan was governor of California. I voted for that devil the first time he ran for governor of California, because he made promises to support public school teachers and their labor unions, but as soon as he was in office, he stabbed public education in the back several times. As president he changed the tax code to favor the wealthiest Americans but my middle class income tax doubled without any raise in the tax rate because that tricky bastard eliminated one tax deduction that favored the middle class—interest paid on credit card debt. My wife at the time had been seriously injured in a rear end collision car accident that was not her fault, and she was out of work on disability for more than a year seriously impacting our income and ability to keep up. There was no way we could pay off our rising credit card debt so we suffered thanks to President Ray-Gun and his worshiping disciples of wealth, power and evil.

        Since 1960, more than 500,000 Americans have been murdered with guns. To put that number in perspective, more Americans have been murdered with guns in the past forty years than were killed by all methods in all wars in the twentieth century from World War I to the Gulf War. … The easy availability of firearms in the United States makes committing homicide easy. (the author wrote)

        I found this information from a book called “Private Guns, Public Health” by David Hemenway – published in 2006 by University of Michigan Press


        In addition, Politifact.com actually checked the claim that there have been more death in the United States from gunfire than all the wars the U.S. has fought starting with the Revolutionary War. Guess what the verdict was before you click the link to see for yourself.

        Politifact says, “We found a comprehensive study of war-related deaths published by the Congressional Research Service on Feb. 26, 2010, and we supplemented that with data for deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan using the website icasualties.org. Where possible, we’ve used the broadest definition of “death” — that is, all war-related deaths, not just those that occurred in combat.”


  2. Thanks for the history lesson, I love it.

    1. You’re welcome. I think far too many extremists on the far right know little to nothing about the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

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