The news published 02/15/2019
In case Trump decides to declare a national emergency at the southern border, it will be the 60th time an acting head of state has used the 1976 National Emergencies Act – but this one would definitely stand out.
The National Emergencies Act was passed during the presidency of Jimmy Carter as an essay to restrain the powers that can be exercised by a president upon declaring a national emergency. President Carter pioneered the new law in November 1979 during the Iran Hostage Crisis when he declared an emergency to freeze assets of the Iranian government and Central Bank.
Since that time, 59 other national emergencies have been declared and only 28 of them are expired.
Most times, presidents have used a national emergency to place sanctions on foreign individuals, groups, and governments. 76 percent of all emergencies were declared to block property or prohibit trade. President H.W. Bush used the law to issue sanctions on Iran and the Haitian military, and his predecessor, Ronald Reagan declared emergencies to impose sanctions on Nicaragua, Libya and South Africa.
State of Emergency: Which Presidents Declared Emergency the Most?
On Thursday, Congress passed a funding bill to keep the government open and avoid another shutdown. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders released a statement Thursday afternoon saying Trump intended to sign the bill, but that he also intended to take “other executive action, including a national emergency” to secure the southern border.
If Trump declares a national emergency, he will be using it in a very different way than all of the US presidents. He will be using it to appropriate money without the consent of Congress.
Trump promoted the construction of a wall on the southern border and shut down the government for over a month in order to extract $5.7 billion in funding for the barrier from Congress. The shutdown ended with no additional appropriations for the wall, and the funding bill passed by Congress Thursday contained only $1.4 billion for border barriers.
Democrats and some Republicans have said they will oppose Trump’s attempts to declare a national emergency in a bid to find a way around Congress on barrier funding. In their joint statement issued on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called such attempt ‘a lawless act’ that abuses the power of the presidency.