Saturday, April 20, 2013

Day 84, April 20

"It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones," Coolidge had once told his father.

While Harding had vetoed only six bills, Coolidge vetoed 50, including sacred farm subsidies, even though he came from farm country. Coolidge favored the pocket veto, a way for the president to reject a bill without a veto message and without affording Congress a chance to override a veto. Though this type of veto had been used by past presidents, including Grover Cleveland and Theodore Roosevelt, Coolidge's use of it gained the attention of the New York Times, which referred to it as "disapproval by inaction."

Coolidge carried his money-saving ways into daily life at the White House and once chastized his housekeeper for serving "an awful lot of ham" at a state dinner.

The Missippi River flood of 1927 (the Hurricane Katrina of the day) wiped out many areas of the South, yet Coolidge chose not to visit the devastated places, sending Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover instead. He (Coolidge) believed that a presidential visit would encourage the idea of federal spending on disaster relief, a concept which was already gaining advocates in Congress.

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