Lord Ellpus wrote:
However, congress can get a two thirds majority in both the House and Senate and override the President's veto. Then the bill becomes law. obviously,this is not so easy to do.
Ah! That sounds more like it. I thought for one minute that the President had the final say, and nobody could argue with it.
Thank you, kelticwizard.
Carry on, everyone.
When the Constitutional Convention convened, Washington was unaimously chosen to preside. Everyone there, Washington included, had no doubt that he would be the first Chief Magistrate, in whatever form it took--except perhaps, for the delegation of his home state, Virginia, the only delegation which arrived with a plan. Their plan called for a single House, with proportional representation (equal representation was the fatal failing of the Continental Congress), and an executive committee chosen by the Congress, rather than a single executive officer. The states with small populations (lead by New York and New Jersey) mistrusted the states with large populations, which were then Virginia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
The Senate was not modelled upon the House of Lords, and, in fact, the experience of the councils appointed by Royal Governors (a system which was long followed in Canada after the revolution and before their independence in 1867) made people wary of an upper house. But the Senate was a compromise which gave states equal representation in one house, which is the house responsible for sovereignty (all treaties must be approved by two thirds of the Senate), and government officers (all appointments to the executive branch and the judiciary must be approved by two thirds of the Senate). As is the case in Parliament, money bills must originate in the lower house, although the concept here is based upon the principle that as money comes in proportionally from the application of revenue formulae, the budget must originate in the house with proportional representation, the House of Representative. In Parliament, the House of Commons originates money bills because, originally, the Lords were not taxed, and therefore, the Commons originated money bills since they represented those who would actually pay for the budget.
Washington wanted to hold out for a three-fourths vote to override a Presidential veto. But the members there, despite a continuing, genuine respect for the man, considered that to be too great an encroachment on the legislative, democratic perogative, and the two-thirds vote required to override the Presidential veto was another compromise. Washington was actually rather canny as a politician, and it is possible that he held out for a three-fourths vote simply to assure that vetoes could not be overridden by a simple majority, and that some compromise would assure an extraordinary vote to override.