Rider (politics)

From Academic Kids

In legislative practice, a rider is an additional provision annexed to a bill under the consideration of a legislature, having little connection with the subject matter of the bill. They are usually created as a tactic to pass a controversial provision which would not pass as its own bill. Occasionally, a controversial provision is attached to a less important bill not to be passed itself but to prevent the bill from being passed. Use of riders is customary in many legislative bodies, including the Congress of the United States.

Riders are most effective when attached to an important bill, such as an appropriation bill, because to veto or table such a bill could delay funding to governmental programs, causing serious problems.

The practical consequence of this custom is a limitation of the veto power of the executive. In the United States, the Line Item Veto Act of 1996, a law struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional, allowed the President to veto single objectionable items, without affecting the main purpose of bills. It has been since been proposed that a constitutional amendment be made allowing line vetos.

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