Mar 3, 1845: Congress Overrides Presidential Veto for First Time

Shortest "apprenticeship": John Tyle...

On this day in 1845, Congress reins in President John Tyler’s zealous use of the presidential veto, overriding it with the necessary two-thirds vote. This marked Congress’ first use of the Consitutional provision allowing Congressional veto overrides and represented Congress’ parting gift to Tyler as he left office.

About two weeks earlier, Tyler had vetoed a Congressional bill that would have denied him the power to appropriate federal funds to build revenue-cutter ships without Congress’ approval. With the override, Congress insisted that the executive branch get the legislature’s approval before commissioning any new military craft.

Tyler used the presidential veto 10 times on a variety of legislation during his administration; the frequency of his use of the veto was second only to that of Andrew Jackson, who employed it 12 times during his tenure.

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