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The Override of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Revenue Act of 1943

February 24, 1944
The Override of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Revenue Act of 1943 Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Robert Doughton of North Carolina served 21 terms in Congress and chaired three committees: Expenditures in the Department of Agriculture, Ways and Means, and Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation.
On this date, the House voted 299 to 95 to override President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s veto of the Revenue Act of 1943 (H. R. 3687). Although Roosevelt asked for $10.5 billion, the Ways and Means Committee drastically revised the amount to around $2 billion. Roosevelt rejected the bill by arguing that it amounted to a “tax relief bill providing relief not for the needy but for the greedy.” In response, Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley of Kentucky resigned in protest and called Roosevelt’s comment, “a calculated and deliberate assault upon the legislative integrity of every member of Congress.” Ways and Means Committee Chairman Robert Doughton of North Carolina commented, “Of course, I don’t question the President’s right to veto this measure …[b]ut when he attempts to usurp the powers and duties of congress by telling us what kind of tax bill we are to write, that is where I part company with the President.” On February 25, the Senate overrode the presidential veto by a vote of 72 to 14. It marked the first time in U. S. history that Congress enacted a revenue law without presidential approval.

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