- President Trump declared a national emergency on February 15, 2019. This gives him special powers, which he says will help him fund a wall along the US-Mexico border.
- The President can declare a national emergency if the nation is “threatened by crisis, exigency, or emergency circumstances,” according to the Congressional Research Service.
- This would be the 32nd active national emergency in the US, since the National Emergencies Act was enacted in 1976.
Following is a transcript of the video.
President Trump declared a national emergency on February 15, 2019.
Trump: “We’re going to be signing… today… and registering… national emergency… and it’s a great thing to do.”
This gives Trump special powers, which he says will help him fund a wall along the US-Mexico border.
This would be the 32nd active national emergency in the US.
But what is a national emergency and how does it give the President more power?
The National Emergencies Act was enacted in 1976.
It empowers the President to take on special, temporary powers during a crisis.
The President can declare a national emergency if the nation is “threatened by crisis, exigency, or emergency circumstances.”
Declaring a national emergency isn’t limited to military or war situations.
The President must make a formal declaration and specify what authority will be used.
For example, Trump plans to allocate military programming money to fund construction for a border wall.
Once the President declares a national emergency, many legal limits on his authority are lifted.
The President has 136 emergency powers, delegated by Congress…
13 of those require a declaration from Congress, but the rest do not require Congressional input.
Some of these powers allow the President to…
- Seize property
- Assign military forces abroad
- Institute martial law
- Restrict travel
- And, in a variety of ways, control the lives of American citizens.
But there are still limits….
Both Congress and the Supreme Court may modify, limit, or revoke the President’s special powers, specifically if they deem his actions unconstitutional.
Trump’s recent national emergency declaration is expected to face major hurdles from Congress and the courts (BI)
National emergencies expire after a year, unless the President renews them by notifying Congress. Congress is also required to meet every six months to review each active state of emergency.
Other presidents who have declared national emergency…
The oldest national emergency still active today was declared by Jimmy Carter in November 1979.
He ordered all government property from Iran to be blocked from entering the US.
In September 2001, George W. Bush declared a national emergency against terrorism after the 9/11 attacks. This allowed him and succeeding presidents broad military powers.
In April 2015, Barack Obama declared a national emergency to block malicious cyber-threats from entering the US.
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