Presidential Influence on Congressional Appropriations Decisions
We investigate the extent to which possession of the veto allows the president to influence congressional decisions regarding regular annual appropriations legislation. The most important implication of our analysis is that the influence the veto conveys is asymmetrical: it allows the president to restrain Congress when he prefers to appropriate less to an agency than Congress does; it does not provide him an effective means of extracting higher appropriations from Congress when he prefers to spend more than it does. The asymmetry derives from constitutional limitations o the veto, in combination with the pretense of a de facto reversionary expenditure level contained in the appropriations process (Fenno, 1966). We find strong support for this proposition in a regression of presidential requests upon congressional appropriations decisions.