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Presidential War Powers Bill Statement on Signing H.R. 7738 Into Law.

December 28, 1977

I am today signing H.R. 7738, an act "with respect to the powers of the President in time of war or national emergency."

H.R. 7738 is the result of a cooperative effort by the Congress and this administration. Its broad purpose is to differentiate between those economic powers available to the President in time of war and those available in time of declared national emergency. The bill is largely procedural. It places additional constraints on use of the President's emergency economic powers in future national emergencies and ensures that the Congress and the public will be kept informed of activities carried out under these powers. Enactment of the bill will not affect embargos now being exercised against certain countries, nor does it affect the blockage of assets of nationals of those and other countries.

In approving' the bill, I must note my serious concern over the provision contained in Section 207(b), which would allow Congress to terminate a national emergency declared by the President by concurrent resolution.

Provisions such as these raise profound constitutional questions, since Article I, Section 7, of the Constitution requires that congressional action having' the force of law be presented to the President for his signature or veto. In addition, such provisions have the potential of involving Congress in the execution of the laws--a responsibility reserved exclusively to the President under the Constitution. This feature of the bill may be unconstitutional. I will therefore treat the provision as requiring only that I "notify and wait" with respect to national emergencies covered by Section 207(b) of this act.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 7738 is Public Law 95-223, approved December 28.

Jimmy Carter, Presidential War Powers Bill Statement on Signing H.R. 7738 Into Law. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/242794

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