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On Friday, Representatives Chip Roy (R-TX-21) and Steve Cohen (D-TN-9) introduced the “ARTICLE ONE Act” to rein in the president’s unchecked power to declare national emergencies; Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are leading the effort in the Senate.

While the president should have the flexibility to respond to emergencies, president after president has abused this power to undermine our constitutional order and sidestep Congress by continuously extending decades old national emergencies with little to no input from Congress. The “ARTICLE ONE Act” would rebalance this federal power.

Representative Roy said, “The presidency was never meant to have monarchical power over the American people; that’s why the framers of our constitution designed a system of checks and balances.

For far too long, however, presidents from both sides of the aisle have ignored Congress and undermined the constitutional order by abusing the virtually unchecked power to declare national emergencies.

The Article One Act reasserts Congress’ authority over emergency declarations and rebalances federal power between the legislative and executive branches as the framers of the Constitution intended for it. I am proud to join my friend Senator Mike Lee in reintroducing this bill and am glad to have Representative Steve Cohen join me in this bipartisan initiative.”

Representative Steve Cohen said, “When I was Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, I held hearings on the National Emergencies Act and built bipartisan support for its reform. Our government is defined by checks and balances. But right now, Presidents can tap into emergency powers without any meaningful political check, time limit, or public rationale.  We need to restore the balance of power and make sure that emergency powers are used only in emergencies and that Congress is integral to the process.  I’m pleased to join with my colleague in the House, Congressman Chip Roy and Senators Mike Lee and Richard Blumenthal in this continuing bipartisan effort. An emergency declared during the Carter Administration should not still be in effect.”

There are currently 41 outstanding national emergencies. Congress has not authorized one. President Jimmy Carter declared the oldest “emergency” in 1979. Congress has a duty to restore the constitutional order of separation of powers, and checks and balances.

Cosponsors include Representatives Dina Titus (D-NV-1), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-AL), Josh Brecheen (R-OK-2), Paul Gosar (R-AZ-9), Harriet Hageman (R-WY-AL), Kevin Kiley (R-CA-3), Andy Ogles (R-TN-5), Michael Cloud (R-TX-27), Ralph Norman (R-SC-5), Clay Higgins (R-LA-3), Andy Biggs (R-AZ-5), Mike Gallagher (R-WI-8), Scott Perry (R-PA-10), and Nancy Mace (R-SC-1).

Senate cosponsors include Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mike Crapo (R-ID), James Risch (R-ID), and Mike Braun (R-IN).

Supporting organizations include ACLU, Brennan Center, Niskanen Center, Protect Democracy, Public Citizen, Third Way, Due Process Institute, FreedomWorks, Project On Government Oversight, Rainey Center, National Taxpayers Union, R Street Institute, Taxpayer Protection Alliance, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and TechFreedom.

You can read the full text of the legislation here.

Author: Press Release


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