The Media Ignored the 12 ‘National Emergencies’ Obama Declared


Despite what the media may be telling you, presidents have been declaring “national emergencies” to shift spending to a needed area for decades. In fact, Obama did it 12 times and the media didn’t care at all.

Indeed, ten of the “national emergencies” Obama called are still in effect and funding is being shifted to those declarations to this day.

The first “national emergency” used to shift spending into high gear was declared by Gerald Ford in 1976 and every president since then has used the means to pay for something he wanted addressed.

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In 1976, U.S. President Gerald Ford signed off on the National Emergencies Act (NEA), federal legislation that ended all previous national states of emergency and formalized the process by which the President can declare states of emergencies and undertake special powers during those emergencies.

Every president since — Carter, Reagan, H.W. Bush, Clinton, G.W. Bush, and Obama — also issued their own declarations.

Obama issued 12 of them, and ten are still drawing funds.

According to ABC News, here are the Obama “emergencies” still in effect are:

April 12, 2010: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in Somalia was in respect to threats posed by Somali pirates.

February 25, 2011: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property and Prohibiting Certain Transactions Related to Libya froze the assets of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

July 25, 2011: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Transnational Criminals was in response to the rise in crime by specific organizations: Los Zetas (Mexico), The Brothers’ Circle (former Soviet Union countries), the Yakuza (Japan), and the Camorra (Italy).

May 16, 2012: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen addressed political unrest within the Yemen government.

March 16, 2014: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine was in response to the Russian invasion of Crimea.

April 3, 2014: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to South Sudan was in response to the ongoing civil war.

May 12, 2014: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Central African Republic was in response to violence towards humanitarian aid workers.

March 8, 2015: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela was in response to human rights violations.

April 1, 2015: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities was in response to Chinese cyber attacks on the U.S.

Nov 23, 2015: The National Emergency With Respect to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Burundi was declared after a failed coup.

Thus far, Trump has issued only three such declarations, so he’s lagging behind the rest.

So, when the media and the Never Trumpers pretend that Trump’s border declaration is “unprecedented” and “dangerous,” ignore their claims because it’s not a new concept at all.

Like it or not, it has been going on for decades.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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