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The State of Reform
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Feb. 11, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Reforming Presidential Emergency and War Powers

Organizer: R Street Institute

Congress has delegated to the executive its authorities over war-making and national emergencies. For certain, Alexander Hamilton was correct that the executive can act with greater speed and unanimity in crises. The executive branch is more unified than the legislature, and its security agencies operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Yet, delegating execution is not synonymous with delegating all decision-making authority. And in recent decades, Congress has attempted to achieve a delicate balance.

The War Powers Resolution, for example, was an example of an effort to balance the need for executive expediency and the constitutional value of congressional control and public accountability. The National Emergencies Act was designed to improve congressional oversight of executive-declared emergencies. This meeting of the Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group will discuss the state of executive war and emergency powers, and the ongoing congressional reform efforts.

Location: U.S. Capitol Visitor Center- SVC 214, First Street NE, CVC 268, Washington, DC

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