Since 2001 under President George W. Bush’s orders, the US has been in a state of national emergency, which has been continued by President Obama. One of the provisions of the US national emergency legislation concerns powers over the control and regulation of property. Under this provision, the President has the authority to order the stockpiling of certain strategic materials and authorize allocation of materials to promote national defense, and can require industries to give priority to government contracts.
Among the highest national homeland security priorities is the condition of the United States Electrical Power Grid, which requires upgrading and steps toward securing American power equipment.
Producing more effective and efficient equipment for airport passenger screening and screening of materiel entering US ports, which is currently virtually unscreened. Under numerous federal contracts the President has the authority to order such steps.
The upgrading of nuclear power plants with fail-safe mechanisms in the event of terrorist attacks is essential. The US Dept of Energy has the power to order such upgrades.
Remodeling and upgrading hospitals and clinics is necessary to accommodate increase numbers of patients in the event of a biological or nuclear attack, which are currently woefully inadequate. This is an authority of the Dept of Health and Human Services.
Upgrading of public schools as sites in which to secure children in the event of a terrorist attack calls for renovation and replacement of badly outdated schools. This is regulated by the US Dept of Education.
Upgrading interstate and state highways making it possible to more rapidly facilitate the evacuation of major population centers in the event of a terrorist attack or nuclear disaster is among the highest priorities. This is an authority of the US Dept of Transportation.
These are all steps the President has authority to undertake under the President’s National Emergency Powers, and he should do so expeditiously. Since these activities require release of funds by banks and other institutions that are currently withholding them, which is further depressing the economy, the president has the authority to order them to make such funds available, at risk of seizure if they fail to do so.
Many of these steps can be undertaken within the constraints of current 2011-2012 federal budgets through re-allocation, but others will require using the President’s emergency powers in accordance the US Constitution Article II, Section 3, which gives presidents the power to control the budget process, if necessary using Executive Orders.
In each instance, priority should be placed on hiring unemployed workers to undertake these very important national security activities, with hiring Iraq and Afghanistan veterans being among the first in line.
Some may argue these steps involve exceeding the President’s authority. They don’t. Mr. Bush initiated such steps and Mr. Obama would be continuing them.
It’s time to quit messing around and get something done.
Please REPOST this Blog entry to interested individuals, and send to your elected representatives and the President. Be sure to add your own comments, at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact http://www.senate.gov/reference/common/faq/How_to_contact_senators.htm