Friday, July 29, 2011

President Carter Vetoed Debt Limit Legislation

In June 1980, the Congress attached a measure rejecting President Carter's attempted imposition of an oil import fee to debt limit legislation. When the legislation reached the White House, Carter vetoed it. Though both houses of Congress had Democratic majorities, the Congress easily overrode the veto. In reporting this, most of the press was focused on the oil fee issue, not the debt limit. Treasury, though, had its attention on the debt limit. The override of the veto served to increase the debt limit.

Attaching the oil fee provision to a debt limit increase was an attempt to force Carter to accept the legislation. It did not work, but the easy veto override indicated that Congress could have gotten its way without attaching it to the debt limit bill.

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