1st Session f SENATE
EMERGENCY POWERS STATUTES:
PROVISIONS OF FEDERAL LAW
Now IN EFFECT DELEGATING TO THE
EXECUTIVE EXTRAORDINARY AUTHORITY
IN TIME OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE
TERMINATION OF THE
UNITED STATES SENATE
NOVEMBER 19, 1973
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON ” 1973
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE
TERMINATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY
FRANK CHURCH, Idaho Co-Chairmen CHARLES McC. MATHIAS. JL., Maryland
PHILIP A. HART, Michigan CLIFFORD P. CASE. New Jersey
CLAIBORNE PELL, Rhode Island JAMES B. PEARSON, Kansas
ADLAI E. STEVENSON III, Illinois CLIFFORD P. HANSEN, Wyoming
WILLIAM G. MILLER, Staff Director
TROMAs A. DINE, Profeusional Staff
Since March 9, 1933, the United States has been in a state of declared
national emergency. In fact, there are now in effect four presidentially
proclaimed states of national emergency: In addition to the
national emergency declared by President Roosevelt in 1933, there are
also the national emergency proclaimed by President Truman on December
16, 1950, during the Korean conflict, and the states of national
emergency declared by President Nixon on March 23, 1970, and
August 15, 1971.
These proclamations give force to 470 provisions of Federal
law. These hundreds of statutes delegate to the President extraordinary
powers, ordinarily exercised by the Congress, which affect the
lives of American citizens in a host of all-encompassing manners. This
vast range of powers, taken together, confer enough authority to rule
the country without reference to normal constitutional processes.
Under the powers delegated by these statutes, the President may:
seize property; organize and control the means of production; seize
commodities; assign military forces abroad; institute martial law;
seize and control all transportation and communication; regulate the
operation of private enterprise; restrict travel; and, in a plethora of
particular ways, control the lives of all American citizens.
With the melting of the cold war-the developing ditente with the
Soviet Union and China, the stable truce of over 20 years duration
between North and South Korea, and the end of U.S. involvement in
the war in Indochina-there is no present need for the United States
Government to continue to function under emergency conditions.
The Special Committee on the Termination of the National Emergency
was created I to examine the consequences of terminating the declared
states of national emergency that now prevail; to recommend
what steps the Congress should take to ensure that the termination can
be accomplished without adverse effect upon the necessary tasks of governing;
and, also, to recommend ways in which the United States can
meet future emergency situations with speed and effectiveness but
without relinquishment of congressional oversight and control.
In accordance with this mandate, the Special Committee-in conjunction
with the Executive branch, expert constitutional authorities,
as well as former high officials of this Government-is now engaged
1 S. Res. 9, 93d Cong., let Sess.
in a detailed study to determine the most reasonable ways to restore
normalcy to the operations of our Government.
A first and necessary step was to bring together the body of statutes,
which have been passed by Congress, conferring extraordinary
powers upon the Executive branch in times of national emergency.
This has been a most difficult task. Nowhere in the Government, in
either the Executive or Legislative branches, did there exist a complete
catalog of all emergency statutes. Many were aware that there
had been a delegation of an enormous amount of power but, of how
much power, no one knew. In order to correct this situation, the
Special Committee staff was instructed to work with the Executive
branch, the Library of Congress, and knowledgeable legal authorities
to compile an authoritative list of delegated emergency powers.
This Special Committee study, which contains a list of all provisions
of Federal law, except the most trivial, conferring extraordinary
powers in time of national emergency, was compiled by the staff under
the direction of Staff Director William G. Miller, and Mr. Thomas A.
Dine; utilizing the help of the General Accounting Office, the American
Law Division of the Library of Congress, the Department of
Justice, the Department of Defense, and the Office of Emergency
The Special Committee is grateful for the assistance provided by
Jack Goldklang of the Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice;
Lester S. Jayson, the director of the Congressional Research Service
of the Library of Congress; Joseph E. Ross, head of the American
Law Division of CRS; and especially Raymond Celada of the American
Law Division and his able assistants, Charles V. Dale and Grover
S. Williams; Paul Armstrong of the General Accounting Office; Linda
Lee, Patrick Norton, Roland Moore, William K. Sawyer, Audrey
Hatry, Martha Mecham, and David J. Kyte.
The Special Committee will also publish a list of Executive Orders,
issued pursuant to statutes brought into force by declared states of
emergency, at a later date.
CHARLES McC. MATHIAS, JR.