May 1st, 2007
06:27 PM ET
10 years ago

Bush vetoes less than most presidents

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush's veto of the Iraq war spending bill Tuesday marks the second of his presidency. His first was issued July 19, 2006 over the "Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005."

Bush, who for most of his term in office has worked with a friendly Republican Congress, has vetoed fewer pieces of legislation of any president since James Garfield. Only nine presidents in American history have vetoed fewer bills.

Some stats from the annals of presidential veto history, courtesy of the U.S. Senate Historical Office:

Recent Presidents and their Vetoes

GW Bush: 2 Total (0 overridden as of May 1, 2007)
Clinton: 37 Total (2 overrridden)
GHW Bush: 44 Total (1 overridden)
Reagan: 78 Total (9 overridden)
Carter: 31 Total (2 overridden)
Ford: 66 Total (12 overridden)
Nixon: 43 Total (7 overridden)

Presidential Veto Hall of Fame – Most Vetoes

F. Roosevelt: 635 total (9 overridden)
Cleveland: 584 total (7 overridden)
Truman: 250 total (12 overridden)
Eisenhower: 181 total (2 overridden)
Grant: 94 total (4 overridden)
T. Roosevelt: 82 total (1 overridden)
Reagan: 78 total (9 overridden)
Ford: 66 total (12 overridden)
Coolidge: 50 total (4 overridden)

Presidential Veto Hall of Fame – Most Overridden Vetoes

Andrew Johnson: 15 overridden out of 29 total
Gerald Ford: 12 overridden out of 66 total
Harry Truman: 12 overridden out of 250 total
Ronald Reagan: 9 overridden out of 78 total
F. Roosevelt: 9 overridden out of 635 total
Richard Nixon: 7 overridden out of 43 total
Grover Cleveland: 7 overridden out of 584 total

Fewer Vetoes Than President George W. Bush
John Adams (1797-1801)
Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
James Monroe (1817-1825)
John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)
Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)
William Henry Harrison (1841)
Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)
Millard Fillmore (1850-53)
James Garfield (1881)

No-Veto Presidents:
Seven presidents have not issued any vetoes:

Three who served at least one full term:
John Adams (1797-1801)
Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)

And four who served partial terms:
William Henry Harrison (1841)
Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)
Millard Fillmore (1850-53)
James Garfield (1881)

Longest Veto-less streaks:
* Longest streak without a presidential veto (excluding "pocket vetoes"):
7 years, 9 months (from James Polk's last veto, August 3, 1846, to Franklin Pierce's first veto, on May 3, 1854. Two presidents in between – Taylor and Fillmore – issue no vetoes.)

* Longest streak without a presidential veto (including "pocket vetoes"):
6 years, 4 months (Polk did issue a pocket veto on December 16, 1847)

For Veto Enthusiasts Only:
For more information on the history of vetoes, an explanation of all recent vetoes, the difference between regular vetoes and pocket vetoes, and the turbulent life and times of the line-item veto, please visit the U.S. Senate Historical Office's veto homepage.

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