February 26, 2021

Wyden Leads Bipartisan Effort to Protect the Separation of Powers

Wyden: “Checks and balances are a bedrock principle of American democracy”

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today reintroduced the Reforming Emergency Powers to Uphold the Balances and Limitations Inherent in the Constitution (REPUBLIC) Act, which preserves the president’s power to act immediately in cases of national emergencies but also upholds Congress’ constitutional responsibility to check the executive branch.
“Checks and balances are a bedrock principle of American democracy,” Wyden said. “Congress cannot allow any White House to declare phony emergencies just to get around the legislative progress envisioned by the Constitution. The REPUBLIC Act would reassert Congress’ role as a coequal branch of government, while still allowing a President to address real emergencies without abusing their authority.”

The current law provides the presidency with unilateral power to determine when and how it will exercise emergency powers. An emergency, such as a military invasion of the United States, can justify the suspension of the constitutional order so that the president can protect the nation immediately and without congressional authorization. 
Co-sponsored by Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., the REPUBLIC Act will continue to allow the president to take immediate action in necessary situations but also require expeditious and continual congressional review of declared national emergencies to ensure that the separation of powers is preserved.
The full text of the bill is HERE.