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National Emergency
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Rep. John Curtis drafting a resolution to limit President’s power to declare a national emergency

A woman looks through the border structure separating San Diego, right, from Tijuana, Mexico, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. (Photo: Gregory Bull, AP)

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on a resolution that blocked the national emergency President Trump declared to build a border wall. Now Rep. John Curtis is drafting a resolution that would change the rules permanently.

The resolution, Curtis told KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic, would be what he views as an improved version of the resolution Democrats drafted, which he says fails to address the real problem: unchecked Presidential power.

Rep. John Curtis’s resolution on national emergencies

John Curtis

John Curtis speaks to Dave & Dujanovic about his national emergency resolution. (Photo: Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

America is currently undergoing 32 simultaneous active national emergencies.

Technically speaking, we’ve been in a state of national emergency over the Iranian Hostage Crisis since 1979, Sudan has been pushing us to brink of crisis since 1997, and Albanian insurgents in North Macedonia have been threatening international stability since mid-2001.

Most of the 32 active national emergencies no longer have any real effect; they’re simply old emergencies former presidents declared that have never been formally ended. However, Curtis believes that they’re a testimony to how important it is to reign in the President’s power.

“I’m not pleased with the way it’s been used,” Curtis told Dave & Dujanovic, referring to both Trump’s most recent national emergency and the dozens declared by Presidents in the past. “I think we’ve all seen through this. It’s made us all uncomfortable with the powers the President has.”

Curtis was on his way to vote on a House Resolution that would terminate the President’s most recent national emergency when he spoke to KSL. However, he said that he would most likely vote against the resolution, which he called “disappointing.”

“The only thing the bill does is declare the national emergency over. It doesn’t even attempt to pull back to Congress the powers,” Curtis said. “To me, it’s much more a poke at the president then actually a serious attempt to reign in that authority.”

He believes that his resolution, which he and a group of other congressmen plan on drafting tomorrow, is a better fix.

Under Curtis’s resolution, the President would retain the ability to declare a national emergency. However, he would only have 60 days to convince Congress to ratify it. If they didn’t, the emergency would be called off.

“It puts congress back in control, but it gives the President the flexibility that he or she would need with a true emergency,” Curtis says.

At this time, Curtis says it’s still too early to know if his resolution will win the sort of bipartisan support he’ll need to get it passed. Curtis, however, believes that it’s right step forward for the country.

“It’s clearly a problem,” Curtis says. “Congress needs to act.”

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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