Why didn't Trump veto H.R. 3364 since he considers it “significantly flawed” with “clearly unconstitutional provisions”?



Earlier today U.S. President Donald J. Trump signed into law H.R. 3364, the "Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act."

Among other things, this law is known for enforcing additional sanctions on Russia.

In a statement to the press (available here) written after signing this law, President Trump wrote (emphasis added):

While I favor tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed.

In its haste to pass this legislation, the Congress included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions. For instance, although I share the policy views of sections 253 and 257, those provisions purport to displace the President's exclusive constitutional authority to recognize foreign governments, including their territorial bounds, in conflict with the Supreme Court's recent decision in Zivotofsky v. Kerry.

Additionally, section 216 seeks to grant the Congress the ability to change the law outside the constitutionally required process. The bill prescribes a review period that precludes the President from taking certain actions...(continued)
Looking at the statement the President seems to have multiple considerations about this law.

For this reason, why did he not veto it?

Answer

In addition to the problem of veto-proof majorities the others have noted, there's another factor: he can always choose to selectively not enforce or otherwise comply with the portions of the law he deems unconstitutional. Thus he can keep the portions of the law he says he does agree with, while ignoring the allegedly unconstitutional parts (he is obliged to adhere to parts that are constitutional, even if he disagrees with them).

If you look up Zivotofsky v. Kerry, this case originates from a law signed by George W. Bush, portions of which he felt were unconstitutional. He simply refused to enforce or otherwise comply with those portions, and this case was the result of that refusal (which was maintained by the Obama administration, during which the suit actually happened). The Supreme Court ultimately upheld the President's position.

So Trump can simply opt to ignore or otherwise not enforce certain provisions of the law he thinks are unconstitutional and let it eventually get resolved by the courts (which might not even happen during his administration, due to the particulars necessary to successfully bring a suit in the first place if nothing else). Until court decisions try to force the matter otherwise, the law would basically function in whatever way he says it does


Why didn't Trump veto H.R. 3364 since he considers it “significantly flawed” with “clearly unconstitutional provisions”? Why didn't Trump veto H.R. 3364 since he considers it “significantly flawed” with “clearly unconstitutional provisions”? Reviewed by Hamza Bashir Ahmad on 02:00:00 Rating: 5