Consider one proposal for limiting the president’s national emergency powers: Sen. Mike Lee’s Article One Act. Under this, a presidentially declared national emergency would expire after 30 days — unless Congress passes a joint resolution renewing it for a year. That bill has been reported out of the Republican-led Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on an 11-to-2 vote, backed by all but two Republicans. While Lee’s bill has bipartisan support, so far, its co-sponsors are all Republicans. However, House Democrats have included a slightly modified version of the bill in their Congressional Power of the Purse Act, which targets executive authority over spending.
Further, Sens. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and others have introduced the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act, which has bipartisan support in the House and Senate. This would require congressional approval before the president could introduce tariffs on national security grounds. Sens. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), Toomey and others have introduced the Trade Certainty Act, which would require Congress to approve any tariffs imposed as part of a national emergency.