Home Search The American Presidency Project
John Woolley and Gerhard Peters Home Data Documents Elections Media Links
• Public Papers of the Presidents
• State of the Union
Addresses & Messages
• Inaugural Addresses
• Farewell Addresses
• Weekly Addresses
• Fireside Chats
• News Conferences
• Executive Orders
• Proclamations
• Signing Statements
• Press Briefings
• Statements of
 Administration Policy
• Economic Report of the President
• Debates
• Convention Speeches
• Party Platforms
• 2016 Election Documents
• 2012 Election Documents
• 2008 Election Documents
• 2004 Election Documents
• 1996 Election Documents
• 1968 Election Documents
• 1960 Election Documents
• 2017 Transition
• 2009 Transition
• 2001 Transition
• White House Media Pool Reports
Data Index
Audio/Video Index
Election Index
Florida 2000
Presidential Libraries
View Public Papers by Month and Year

INCLUDE documents from the Office of the Press Secretary
INCLUDE election campaign documents, vice presidential documents, first lady, and other executive branch officals
Search the Entire Document Archive
Enter keyword: 

Limit by Year

To    :

Limit results per page

INCLUDE documents from the Office of the Press Secretary

INCLUDE election campaign documents, vice presidential documents, first lady, and other executive branch officals

You can search the Public Papers in two ways:

1. Search by Keyword and Year
You can search by keyword and choose the range of years within your search by filling out the boxes under Search the Public Papers.

2. View by Month and/or Year
Select the month and/or year you would like information about and press View Public Papers. Then choose a Public Paper and the page will load for you.

Search Engine provided by the Harry S. Truman Library. Our thanks to
Jim Borwick and Dr. Rafee Che Kassim at Project Whistlestop for critical assistance in the implementation of the search function, and to Scott Roley at the Truman Library for facilitating this collaboration.
Gerald R. Ford: Veto of Atomic Energy Act Amendments.
Gerald R. Ford
141 - Veto of Atomic Energy Act Amendments.
October 12, 1974
Public Papers of the Presidents
Gerald R. Ford<br>1974
Gerald R. Ford
Font Size:
The American Presidency Project

Promote Your Page Too

To the House of Representatives:

I am returning without my approval H.R. 15323, "To amend the Atomic Energy Act, as amended, to revise the method of providing public remuneration in the event of a nuclear incident, and for other purposes."

The first eleven sections of the bill basically carry out recommendations of the Atomic Energy Commission, and I would be glad to approve them if they stood alone.

Section 12, however, would provide that "the provisions of this Act shall become effective thirty (30) days after the date on which the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy submits to the Congress an evaluation of the Reactor Study, entitled 'An Assessment of Accident Risks in the U.S. Commercial Nuclear Power Plants,' AEC Report Number WASH-1400, except that it shall not become effective if within the thirty (30) day period after the Joint Committee submits its evaluation, the Congress adopts a concurrent resolution disapproving the extension of the Price-Anderson Act." The import of this section is that after I have approved the bill, the Joint Committee and the Congress would further consider whether it should ever become effective.

I cannot approve legislation under these circumstances--if, indeed, the bill can properly be called legislation rather than merely the expression of an intent to legislate. The presentation of a bill to me pursuant to Article I, section 7 of the Constitution amounts to a representation by Congress that, as far as it is concerned, the legislation is ready to become effective, subject perhaps to some extrinsic condition precedent, but not to further congressional deliberation. Here, however, Congress in effect requests my approval before it has given its own.

In this instance, the clear constitutional infirmity of the bill not only affects my powers and duties but directly endangers substantial and important private rights. If the bill is unconstitutional, it will remain unconstitutional despite my signing it. As a result, a sure source of funds for prompt payment of public liability claims, a primary objective of the Price-Anderson Act, would be in doubt. The uncertainty over nuclear liability protection would also adversely affect that private investment which will be necessary as nuclear power assumes its vital role in meeting the nation's energy requirements. The public interest would not be served by approving legislation which creates these uncertainties.

I urge the Congress to reenact the bill promptly so as to remove the problems which Section 12 now raises.

The White House,

October 12, 1974.

Citation: Gerald R. Ford: "Veto of Atomic Energy Act Amendments.," October 12, 1974. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=4456.
© 1999-2018 - Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley - The American Presidency Project ™
Locations of visitors to this page