House History

Presidential Vetoes

(1789 to Present)

Since 1789, the President has had the authority to veto legislation passed by Congress. This authority is one of the significant tools in the President’s legislative dealings with Congress. It is effective in directly preventing the passage of legislation undesirable to the President, and the threat of a veto can bring about changes in the content of legislation long before the bill is ever presented to the President.

There are two types of vetoes available to the President. The “regular veto” is a qualified negative veto, which is limited by the ability of Congress to muster the necessary two-thirds vote of each House for constitutional override. The other type of veto is a “pocket veto.” This veto is actually an absolute veto that cannot be overridden; it becomes effective when the President fails to sign a bill after Congress has adjourned and is unable to override the veto.


President Congresses
Regular Vetoes
Pocket Vetoes
Total Vetoes
Vetoes
Overridden
George Washington 1st- 4th
2
…..
2
…..
John Adams 5th-6th
…..
…..
…..
…..
Thomas Jefferson 7th-10th
…..
…..
…..
…..
James Madison 11th-14th
5
2
7
…..
James Monroe 15th-18th
1
…..
1
…..
John Quincy Adams 19th-20th
…..
…..
…..
…..
Andrew Jackson 21st-24th
5
7
12
…..
Martin Van Buren 25th-26th
…..
1
1
…..
William Henry Harrison 27th
…..
…..
…..
…..
John Tyler 27th-28th
6
4
10
1
James K. Polk 29th-30th
2
1
3
…..
Zachary Taylor 31st
…..
…..
…..
…..
Millard Fillmore 31st-32nd
…..
…..
…..
…..
Franklin Pierce 33rd-34th
9
…..
9
5
James Buchanan 35th-36th
4
3
7
…..
Abraham Lincoln 37th-39th
2
5
7
…..
Andrew Johnson 39th-40th
21
8
29
15
Ulysses S. Grant 41st-44th
45
48
93
4
Rutherford B. Hayes 45th-46th
12
1
13
1
James A. Garfield 47th
…..
…..
…..
…..
Chester A. Arthur 47th-48th
4
8
12
1
Grover Cleveland 49th-50th
304
110
414
2
Benjamin Harrison 51st-52nd
19
25
44
1
Grover Cleveland 53rd-54th
42
128
170
5
William McKinley 55th-57th
6
36
42
…..
Theodore Roosevelt 57th-60th
42
40
82
1
William H. Taft 61st-62nd
30
9
39
1
Woodrow Wilson 63rd-66th
33
11
44
6
Warren G. Harding 67th
5
1
6
…..
Calvin Coolidge 68th-70th
20
30
50
4
Herbert C. Hoover 71st-72nd
21
16
37
3
Franklin D. Roosevelt 73rd-79th
372
263
635
9
Harry S. Truman 79th-82nd
180
70
250
12
Dwight D. Eisenhower 83rd-86th
73
108
181
2
John F. Kennedy 87th-88th
12
9
21
…..
Lyndon B. Johnson 88th-90st
16
14
30
…..
Richard M. Nixon 91st-93rd
26
17
43
7
Gerald R. Ford 93rd-94th
48
18
66
12
James Earl Carter 95th-96th
13
18
31
2
Ronald Reagan 97th-100th
39
39
78
9
George Bush* 101th-102nd
29
15
44
1
William J. Clinton 103rd-106th
36
1
37
2
George W. Bush 107th-110th
10
…..
10
3
Total
…………
1494
1066
2560
109

* President Bush attempted to pocket veto two bills during intrasession recess periods. Congress considered the two bills enacted into law because of the President’s failure to return the legislation. The bills are not counted as pocket vetoes in this table.

Source: Congressional Research Service