- the indirect veto by the President of the U.S. of a bill presented to him by Congress within ten days of its adjournment, by failing to sign and return the bill before Congress adjourns
- any action similar to this in defeating a measure
- The indirect veto of a bill received by the President within ten days of the adjournment of Congress, effected by retaining the bill unsigned until Congress adjourns.
- A similar action exercised by a state governor or other chief executive.
(plural pocket vetos)
- (US) A (de facto) veto of a bill by the US President by restricting Congressional action on the bill, as, figuratively, by carrying the bill in his pocket until the deadline for signing it has passed.
pocket veto - Legal Definition
Under the United States Constitution, if the president does not sign a congressionally passed bill within ten days after receiving it, the bill becomes law, even without his or her signature. However, if the president neither signs nor vetoes the bill and Congress adjourns within that ten-day period, the legislation will become law only if the president signs it. Therefore, by not signing it, the bill is effectively killed.