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house Bill H.R. 1755

Should Congress Reassert its Authority Over National Emergency Declarations?

Argument in favor

The existence of 32 current national emergencies across the U.S. — including one dating from the Carter administration — is proof that there are too many declared ‘emergencies’ in the U.S. that seemingly never end. This bill reasserts Congressional authority over national emergency declarations and ensures national emergencies end in a timely manner when appropriate.

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05/02/2019
Yes, and how about the authority to declare war? Afghanistan is going on 17 years. We should declare war or get the fuck out. Our casual military aggression around the world only breeds terror.
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CaptJack's Opinion
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05/02/2019
Trump’s declaration was within the bounds of the national emergency law, but violated the Constitution. In addition to requiring Congress to approve these emergencies after their declaration, the law itself needs to be improved to make clear how appropriations will be handled.
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burrkitty's Opinion
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05/03/2019
Yeah, absolutely. Also the power over war. Those are Congressional powers.
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Argument opposed

The president has a right and responsibility to declare national emergencies as needed to keep the U.S. safe. The nature of national emergencies means that it’s important for the president to have broad latitude to respond to them. This bill would make it harder for the U.S. government to respond to situations at home and abroad that require flexibility.

CombatVeteran's Opinion
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05/02/2019
Democrats just can't stand to not have all the power. Imagine if the Republicans controlled Congress and tried this. What an absurd reaction we would get from the Dems. Democrats, get over yourselves.
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Miles's Opinion
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05/02/2019
Would love to hear the reasons why that is an overreach of power by the executive, considering there is a serious situation. Millions of people attempt to, or walk into the US every year. Obama declared I think 10 natl emergencies, each about as stupid as the last. No one had a problem with it. Look in your mirror, & say “hypocritical moron”
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Jim2423's Opinion
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05/02/2019
You (Democrats) are only sore losers. It was fine when Clinton or Obama used Emergency Requests.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management
    IntroducedMarch 14th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1755?

This bill — the ARTICLE ONE Act — would reassert Congress’ authority over the declaration of national emergencies. It would make any national emergency declaration last only 30 days from its issuance, terminating when the 30-day period expires, unless a joint resolution of approval is enacted. The only exception to this requirement would be in situations where Congress is physically unable to convene due to an armed attack upon the U.S. or another national emergency — in such cases, the 30-day period for a joint resolution’s passage would begin on the first day that Congress convenes for the first time after the attack or other emergency.

It’d also create fast-track procedures for a joint resolution of approval to approve a national emergency declaration. If Congress passes and the president signs a joint resolution of approval, then the emergency declaration lasts for a year. At the end of the one-year period, the president may renew the emergency only if a new resolution of approval is enacted. If Congress fails to vote on a joint resolution of approval, the emergency would be terminated at the end of the interim period.

This bill would also allow limited amendments to joint resolutions. This would give Congress flexibility in approving the emergency declaration and the invocation of specific statutory authorities. For example: if the president declares an emergency and invokes five emergency statutes, Congress could approve the emergency declaration but limit which emergency powers the president is allowed to exercise.

Finally, this bill would impose new reporting requirements on the president during a national emergency. These requirements — modeled off the War Powers Resolution — would ensure that Congress is kept fully informed about how the president is exercising emergency powers.

This bill’s full title is the Assuring that Robust, Thorough, and Informed Congressional Leadership is Exercised Over National Emergencies (ARTICLE ONE) Act. It is a reference to the section of the U.S. Constitution which establishes Congress.

Impact

National emergencies; Congress; and the president.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1755

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Chip Roy (R-TX) introduced this bill to amend the National Emergencies Act and reassert Congressional authority over broad, virtually unchecked emergency powers:

“As I said when Congress voted on the president’s emergency declaration last month, I would have preferred to debate it longer and work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reach structural reforms to the National Emergencies Act. Today, I introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would restore Congress to its rightful place as first among our federal branches of government when it comes to the power of the purse. To be clear, there is an emergency at our southern border.  Cartels have operational control of our border, hundreds of thousands of people are crossing our border, thousands of pounds of narcotics are crossing our border, and our failure to act endangers Americans and the migrants who seek to come here. Unlike Congress, the president recognizes the emergency and is taking a few, though not all, of the steps necessary to work to secure our border and shore up American sovereignty. Having said that, there are currently 31 active national emergencies, some of which date back to President Jimmy Carter’s administration. By any reasonable definition, an ‘emergency’ should not be treated as such under the NEA for long periods of time. Our legislation will terminate emergencies within 30 days of such a declaration and require Congress to take specific action to continue such emergencies. Congress ceded some of its legislative authority in 1976. It is far past time we make the necessary changes need to the NEA and take steps to restore Congress to what our founders intended.”   

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), the sponsor of this bill’s Senate companion, adds that this bill will stop presidents from acting like kings and making unilateral decisions:

“If Congress is troubled by recent emergency declarations made pursuant to the National Emergencies Act, they only have themselves to blame. Congress gave these legislative powers away in 1976 and it is far past time that we as an institution took them back. If we don’t want our president acting like a king we need to start taking back the legislative powers that allow him to do so. The ARTICLE ONE Act will go a long way to restoring the balance of powers in our republic.”

President Trump argues that as president, he has both the right and responsibility to declare national emergencies as he sees fit:

“Since 1976, Presidents have declared 59 national emergencies. They often involved protecting foreign citizens in far-off lands, yet Congress has not terminated any of them. Every single one of them is still in existence. And yet, we don’t worry about our land; we worry about other people’s lands. That’s why I say ‘America first.’ If that’s okay: ‘America first.’ The only emergency Congress voted to revoke was the one to protect our own country. So, think of that: with all of the national emergencies, this was the one they don’t want to do. And this is the one, perhaps, they should most do.”

This bill has two Republican House cosponsors. The Senate version of this bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), has 17 Republican Senate cosponsors.


Of NotePresident Trump’s February declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border — which he’s using to get additional money for his border wall — has been a major political controversy in 2019. In addition to this national emergency, the U.S. has 31 other national emergencies currently in effect. Many, or even most, of those emergencies are no longer applicable; most were simply declared by a president and then never formally repealed, or extended with limited thought or debate.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: Charles Edward Miller via Flickr / Creative Commons)

AKA

ARTICLE ONE Act

Official Title

To provide for congressional approval of national emergency declarations, and for other purposes.

    Yes, and how about the authority to declare war? Afghanistan is going on 17 years. We should declare war or get the fuck out. Our casual military aggression around the world only breeds terror.
    Like (109)
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    Democrats just can't stand to not have all the power. Imagine if the Republicans controlled Congress and tried this. What an absurd reaction we would get from the Dems. Democrats, get over yourselves.
    Like (46)
    Follow
    Share
    Trump’s declaration was within the bounds of the national emergency law, but violated the Constitution. In addition to requiring Congress to approve these emergencies after their declaration, the law itself needs to be improved to make clear how appropriations will be handled.
    Like (59)
    Follow
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    Yeah, absolutely. Also the power over war. Those are Congressional powers.
    Like (46)
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    Our government has long been a process of checks and balances until this administration began hijacking Congress’ prerogatives.
    Like (33)
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    Would love to hear the reasons why that is an overreach of power by the executive, considering there is a serious situation. Millions of people attempt to, or walk into the US every year. Obama declared I think 10 natl emergencies, each about as stupid as the last. No one had a problem with it. Look in your mirror, & say “hypocritical moron”
    Like (30)
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    The recent misuse of the National Emergency Declaration by the President shows why this power was provided for Congress and not the Executive Branch to begin with. It is not in the best interest of the country to have Congress resign their powers to another branch of government and allow any president the ability to make unilateral decisions which effect the entire country. This erodes our system of checks and balances. Congress must reassert it’s powers and never give them away again. I support this Republican sponsored bill.
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    Yes, Congress should reassert it’s authority over declarations of emergency! Current president is incapable ... of determining what constitutes a true emergency.
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    You (Democrats) are only sore losers. It was fine when Clinton or Obama used Emergency Requests.
    Like (24)
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    The Right & Responsibility For National Emergency’s Is The Presidents The president has a right and responsibility to declare national emergencies as needed to keep the U.S. safe. The nature of national emergencies means that it’s important for the president to have broad latitude to respond to them. This Democratic bill would make it harder for the U.S. government to respond to situations at home and abroad that require flexibility and is nothing more again of the Democrats attempting to usurp the President’s Congressional duties and responsibilities SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻President 👍🏻👍🏻. 5*2*19.....
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    Congress needs to grow a set and reassert their authority over a SHITLOAD of issues that the butt-hurt traitor Trump has illegally hijacked in order to serve himself at our expense. YES.
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    Congress represents the people. We need to take this Country back via Congress. The chief executive should only represent what Congress has decided and voted on.
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    I can’t think of any President except Trump who has abused this feature of government. So it is a problem with THIS clown rather than with the right for a President to declare a national emergency. So, here we go, all Presidents, beginning with the next one (exceptTrump) may declare a national emergency, subject to approval by Congress. There, fixed it.
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    Absolutely. Congress must re assert it’s authority over emergency declarations.
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    The President simply has too much power in this regard. An authoritarian scumbag like Trump can simply declare a national emergency whenever he wants if he doesn’t get it from Congress. There’s no national emergency at the border! We have plenty of real emergencies like climate change, our crumbling infrastructure, a broken healthcare system, and opioid overdose epidemic! It’s time for Washington to put its focus on where it belongs!
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    No ! More newbie legislation. Chip if you have served in the US military:1.you know that the world is a dangerous place and 2. There are many who would harm our country and our friends and 3. You would appreciate the role of Commander in Chief where the right to declare a national emergency is essential to effectively protect our nation. By now I hope you know that Congress cannot do its Job now ! Why would anyone risk expanding their job,Congress cannot and sometimes simply will not put the people’s interests above their own self interests or party politics. Chip, I ask you to focus your attention on the humanitarian crisis created by Congress at our Southern border. Secure the southern border.
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    It’s their job!
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    I’m sure with our present political system, Congress in control of a National Emergency System would be a national emergency!
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    Trump abused his power when he declared a National Emergency where one did not exist. He lied his way to the declaration and has lied ever since. Congress must stop this kind of abuse.
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    This president has shown he doesn't care at all to abuse the system and the process.
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