Today Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.) unveiled the National Emergencies Reform Act, a bill to rein in presidential statutory control over emergency powers.
Under current law, the executive office can invoke a national emergency to enact a policy that lawmakers might otherwise reject. Such a declaration can go on without an end in sight: The National Emergencies Act (NEA) currently holds that an “emergency” is only over when the president says it is, or when Congress passes a veto-proof resolution.
Of the 69 national emergencies declared since the NEA’s inception in 1976, 35 are still ongoing. Seven originated with President Donald Trump, 10 with President Barack Obama, 11 with President George W. Bush, and six with President Bill Clinton. The remaining one dates back to the reign of Jimmy Carter.
Amash’s legislation would automatically sunset an emergency declaration after 60 days unless a simple majority of Congress votes to keep it alive. If Congress is unable to meet during that timeframe, it would have 48 hours to approve its continuation once it reconvenes.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) boasted Thursday about restricting a Fairfax County gun show, citing Coronavirus concerns and tweeting that “selling guns is just not worth it.”
WTOP reported that organizers of the Nation’s Gun Show sought an injunction against Virginia Coronavirus restrictions that would cap show attendance at 250 at one time. The show organizers expected to draw up to 25,000 attendees throughout the weekend of November 20-22.
But Herring argued for the restrictions, claiming the show organizers are “brazenly misinformed” regarding the danger posed by the virus.
Herring used a brief to contend, “The ongoing pandemic has infected more than 200,000 Virginians since March and has killed nearly 4,000 — more than four times the number of automobile fatalities that occurred in all of 2019.”
Virginia Business reports that Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Brett A. Kassabian sided with Herring, rejecting the call for an injunction to block the restrictions.