Emergency Powers of the President

Archive Report

President's Retention of Emergency Powers

When President Roosevelt took office March 4, 1933, the nation was confronted by an unparalleled economic and fiscal crisis. To enable the federal government to meet that crisis expeditiously and effectively, the Chief Executive was armed with sweeping emergency powers. Today, five years later, the President retains most of the powers then granted, while others have been extended to him in the intervening period. The authority of the presidential office will be further enhanced, moreover, if Congress enacts this year certain legislation now pending.

Many of the emergency powers, granted originally for a limited time and subsequently extended, will expire in 1939. At its session a year hence, therefore, Congress will have to decide whether to allow these powers to lapse ...

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