Thanks to Senator Mike Lee of Utah the GOP is now faced with a bill that pits them against their own president in an attempt to curtail his executive emergency power.
“If Congress is troubled by recent emergency declarations made pursuant to the National Emergencies Act, they only have themselves to blame. Congress gave these legislative powers away in 1976 and it is far past time that we as an institution took them back. If we don’t want our president acting like a king we need to start taking back the legislative powers that allow him to do so,” said Lee.
“Acting like a king” doesn’t just apply to Trump either. Americans have been worried about growing presidential power since Bush Jr’s Iraq War. Allowing Congress to use the check and balance system we all know and love is nothing short of a miracle that the country desperately needs right now, regardless of party lines.
As we look closer at the bill, however, we notice that it does start to smell like a clever GOP tactic to dull the claws of the next Democratic president. Mike made sure the bill would have a better chance of passing by ensuring it would not effect Trumps current emergency declaration, only future ones. This is something Mitch McConnell has taken notice of and, so far, has not resisted the bill; a clear sign that the GOP is up to something for their own gain. A liberal president hoping to declare climate change a “national crisis” is going to have their work cut out for them.
The only thing standing in the way at this point would be Trump himself, who may want the emergency power to last for the remainder of his presidency. He may attempt to delay the bill and ask it to be submitted later on down the road where he would promise not to veto in just in time for the 2020 election. Only time will tell if this ingenious political scheme will pay off.
Photo by Benjamin Earwicker