.. the ongoing effects of that perpetual emergency aren't immediately clear, because the executive branch has ignored a law requiring it to report to Congress every six months on how much the president has spent under those extraordinary powers, USA TODAY has found. 

Exactly 16 years ago Thursday, President Bush signed Proclamation 7463, giving himself sweeping powers to mobilize the military in the days following terrorist attacks that crashed planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field. It allowed him to call up National Guard and Reserve troops, hire and fire military officers, and bypass limits on the numbers of generals that could serve.


"The president is given these emergency powers as a temporary measure until Congress has time to act. It stretches credulity to think Congress hasn't had time to act since 9/11 happened," said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. "We should not be treating 9/11 as an emergency in 2017."


The perpetual war footing has had a striking lack of examination. Under the National Emergencies Act -- a post-Watergate law intended to rein in presidential emergency powers -- the president needs to renew the emergency each year or it lapses. But Congress is also supposed to review each emergency every six months. It never has.


And it's not just 9/11. Presidents have declared scores of emergencies over the past 40 years, dealing with everything from the Iran Hostage Crisis to the Swine Flu. More than 30 of those national emergencies remain in effect -- and Congress has never reviewed a single one in the history of the National Emergencies Act.

Is the Trump-as-antiwar-candidate lie sufficiently dead and buried yet?

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