Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) today introduced the ARTICLE ONE Act, a bill that would reclaim significant legislative powers delegated to the executive branch by the National Emergencies Act of 1976.
When Congress passed this act in 1976, it gave the president of the United States the ability to exercise unilateral power like a king. Now, more than 40 years later, there are 37 ongoing national emergencies that have no congressional approval or expiration date. And just last week, the majority leader pointed out that the president “can do many, many things under the emergency powers . . . that he could do without legislation,” and suggested that “[i]t might be a good idea for President Biden to call a climate emergency.”
“This kind of lawmaking-by-proclamation runs directly counter to the vision of our Founders and undermines the safeguards protecting our freedom,” Sen. Lee said. “It’s high time that Congress reclaimed its legislative power and restored constitutional balance to our Republic.”
The ARTICLE ONE Act would automatically end all future emergency declarations made pursuant to the NEA after 30 days unless Congress affirmatively votes to extend the emergency. Currently, Congress can cancel an emergency declaration only by passing a resolution that can withstand a presidential veto.
The bill’s full name is the “Assuring that Robust, Thorough, and Informed Congressional Leadership is Exercised Over National Emergencies Act.”
It is cosponsored by Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
The full bill text and an online version of this release can be found here.