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These are two questions with three answers. Odd, I know, but hear me out.
The President has the power to declare a national emergency at the border. The powers are wide-reaching, limited to the President’s discretion, and enforceable by the executive branch. So the answer to the first question is, “Yes.”
Should he have this power? Yes and no. Therein lies the two answers to the one question. Let’s break them down.
Yes, he should have the power to declare a national emergency with nearly no limits. The reason for this is simple: an emergency is an emergency and it’s imperative that someone, in this case the President, has the full authority to respond to that emergency as he or she sees fit.
The part where things get murky is in how that emergency declaration is used following the initial emergency reaction. Currently, a national emergency can last forever until it’s declared to be no longer an emergency. This is where the real overreach of the executive branch comes into play.
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) proposed a path forward that should have been in place decades ago. It displays more common sense than anything coming out of Washington DC in a long time. Unfortunately, both the Democrats and the President are against the proposal.
In essence, Lee wants the President to retain full powers over declaring national emergencies while putting the power of extending national emergency declarations in the hands of Congress. It’s the best of both worlds: a nimble an responsive executive power checked by a prolonged legislative power. The President declares it while Congress extends it. This makes sense.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats are against it because they don’t want to give Republicans cover, or so they claim. This is a lie. The real reason they don’t want it to happen is because they want national emergency declaration powers in the hands of a future Democratic president.
As for President Trump, he doesn’t want any of his powers restricted. Even though Lee’s proposal would have safeguarded building the wall, it would have prevented the President from using this same power in the future without Congress involved. That, he did not want.
It’s important for discernment in situations like this. NOQ Report remains crowdfunded, relying on the generosity of patriots, because we do not want to be beholden to a party or person. We believe in the Bible and the Constitution. How everyone else operates in regards to these important components of America is what NOQ Report brings to light.
The President must have the ability to declare national emergencies. Granting Congress authority over extending emergencies beyond their immediate response makes sense today and jibes with the Constitution. Mike Lee’s proposal was the right approach.
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