The circumstances of "The American Rescue Plan" made me think of this. Suppose a bill passes both the House and the Senate, but with a 50-50 tie in the Senate such that the vice president must cast the tie-breaking vote.

Then, before the president can sign the bill he/she dies, making the vice president now the president.

Is there any constitutional provision, law, or precedent which would imply that the new president could not legally sign the law and make it effective, having previously cast a deciding vote for it?

(I certainly understand that some parties would argue that signing the law in such circumstances was invalid, but is there any substance to such arguments?)

  • 1
    Even from an ethical point of view, what would be the issue? A POTUS and a VPOTUS are expected to be politically aligned (this is why the run on the same ticket), so it is unlikely that a law approved by a VPOTUS would be unacceptable to a POTUS. So, in your case, you would expect that the new POTUS signing the law would be in line with the desires of the previous POTUS.
    – SJuan76
    Mar 11, 2021 at 22:42
  • @SJuan76 - I'm thinking the argument might be made that the VP-turned-president was effectively voting twice.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 11, 2021 at 22:47
  • @SJuan76 While generally aligned, they probably don't agree on everything (although disagreements are usually kept private). So VP and P disagree on this particular law, and VP arranges for P to be assassinated to prevent P from vetoing it.
    – Barmar
    Mar 12, 2021 at 19:15
  • I think I just plotted out a new season of "House of Cards".
    – Barmar
    Mar 12, 2021 at 19:16

1 Answer 1


No, there is no such provision. The new President would have the ability to sign this into law.

Remember that, when Congress is sitting, the bill becomes law if the President takes no action on it. The new President would have to actively veto the bill to prevent it from becoming law.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .