The media and the Democrats have lost their minds over Trump’s threat to call a national emergency to end the government shutdown.
The Democrats reactions have been either outright horror, calling Trump a dictator, or just terror induced anxiety quelled by publicly hoping that Trump is bluffing.
He is not bluffing and moreover, he is nothing close to a dictator unless Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama were dictators.
The facts are quite simple – we have checks and balances and over the last 40 years the executive branch has grown bolder in asserting its power. Both sides have done this and both sides have found ways to justify executive power expansion.
And both sides have found arguments to blast it when they weren’t in power. From CNN:
George W. Bush declared 13 emergencies and Barack Obama declared 12 — nearly all of which are still active today. Bill Clinton declared 17 national emergencies, six of which are still active. Ronald Reagan declared six and George H.W. Bush declared four — but all of those have been revoked by now.
Presidents must renew national emergencies every year because the statute lets emergencies automatically expire after one year.
Past emergencies have focused on everything from swine flu to rough diamonds.
Here’s a list of the 28 active national emergencies:
- Blocking Iranian Government Property (Nov. 14, 1979)
- Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (Nov. 14, 1994)
- Prohibiting Transactions with Terrorists Who Threaten to Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process (Jan. 23, 1995)
- Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to the Development of Iranian Petroleum Resources (Mar. 15, 1995)
- Blocking Assets and Prohibiting Transactions with Significant Narcotics Traffickers (Oct. 21, 1995)
- Regulations of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels with Respect to Cuba (Mar. 1, 1996)
- Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Sudan (Nov. 3, 1997)
- Blocking Property of Persons Who Threaten International Stabilization Efforts in the Western Balkans (Jun. 26, 2001)
- Continuation of Export Control Regulations (Aug. 17, 2001)
- Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks (Sept. 14, 2001)
- Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism (Sept. 23, 2001)
- Blocking Property of Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe (Mar. 6, 2003)
- Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq and Certain Other Property in Which Iraq has an Interest (May 22, 2003)
- Blocking Property of Certain Persons and Prohibiting the Export of Certain Goods to Syria (May 11, 2004)
- Blocking Property of Certain Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Belarus (Jun. 16, 2006)
- Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Oct. 27, 2006)
- Blocking Property of Persons Undermining the Sovereignty of Lebanon or Its Democratic Processes and Institutions (Aug. 1, 2007)
- Continuing Certain Restrictions with Respect to North Korea and North Korean Nationals (Jun. 26, 2008)
- Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in Somalia (Apr. 12, 2010)
- Blocking Property and Prohibiting Certain Transactions Related to Libya (Feb. 25, 2011)
- Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations (Jul. 25, 2011)
- Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen (May 16, 2012)
- Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine (Mar. 6, 2014)
- Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to South Sudan (Apr. 3, 2014)
- Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Central African Republic (May 12, 2014)
- Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela (Mar. 9, 2015)
- Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities (Apr. 1, 2015)
- Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Burundi (Nov. 23, 2015)
Congressman Adam Smith, the new Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, just stated, “Yes, there is a provision in law that says a president can declare an emergency. It’s been done a number of times.” No doubt, but let’s get our deal done in Congress!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2019