President Donald Trump declared a national emergency today, in an effort to access $3.6 billion to build the border wall, as the New York Times and other media outlets have reported. While this may be the most controversial emergency of Trump's presidency, but it is hardly the first one.
In fact, U.S. presidents have used the National Emergencies Act a total of 14 times just in the last decade, and all of them remain active. In Trump's first two years in office, he invoked the power three previous times, making today's his fourth declaration of a national emergency.
November 27, 2018Most recently, Trump used the law to issue an executive order blocking property of certain persons contributing to the situation in Nicaragua from being transferred, according to the Federal Register. Trump's decision targeted Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's regime and its "use of indiscriminate violence and repressive tactics against civilians," the Pacific Standard noted. He ordered certain sanctions against current and former officials of the Ortega administration engaging in "human rights abuse or corruption."
September 12, 2018Two months before, Trump declared another national emergency aimed at imposing sanctions in the event of foreign interference in a United States election, according to the separate report by the Federal Register. The executive order — intended to impose automatic sanctions — gives intelligence agencies 45 days after an election to assess any possible interference.Continue reading.
December 20, 2017The previous year, Trump declared his first national emergency over the Rohingya conflict in Myanmar. As the Federal Register reported, Trump's order imposed sanctions on persons involved in serious human rights abuse or corruption, an action aimed specifically against General Maung Maung Soe, who "oversaw the military operation in Burma's Rakhine State responsible for widespread human rights abuse against Rohingya civilians," according to BBC News.
Trump's predecessor, former President Barack Obama, invoked the power a total of 10 times during his eight years in office.