Veto Message

May 22, 1856

To the Senate of the United States:

Having considered the bill, which originated in the Senate, entitled "An act making an appropriation for deepening the channel over the flats of the St. Marys River, in the State of Michigan," it is herewith returned without my approval.

The appropriation proposed by this bill is not, in my judgment, a necessary means for the execution of any of the expressly granted powers of the Federal Government. The work contemplated belongs to a general class of improvements, embracing roads, rivers, and canals, designed to afford additional facilities for intercourse and for the transit of commerce, and no reason has been suggested to my mind for excepting it from the objections which apply to appropriations by the General Government for deepening the channels of rivers wherever shoals or other obstacles impede their navigation, and thus obstruct communication and impose restraints upon commerce within the States or between the States or Territories of the Union. I therefore submit it to the reconsideration of Congress, on account of the same objections which have been presented in my previous communications on the subject of internal improvements.


Franklin Pierce, Veto Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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