Trump declares national emergency responding to coronavirus: Here’s what that means

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Trump declares national emergency responding to coronavirus: Here’s what that means
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Trump declares national emergency responding to coronavirus: Here’s what that means
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When President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday in the White House Rose Garden, he said it would “unleash the full power of the federal government.”

Referring to “national emergency” as “two very big words,” he said designating the coronavirus crisis that way would allow him to quickly get $50 billion to states, territories and localities “in our shared fight against this disease.”

Trump declared the emergency under both the Stafford Act and the even bigger National Emergencies Act to unlock sweeping executive power in response to a national crisis.

Trump had indicated to reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday that he was considering enacting the Stafford Act, a law that allows a president to unlock the powers of the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA to assist states and municipalities in a time of crisis.

“We have very strong emergency powers under the Stafford Act,” Trump said. “I have it memorized, practically, as to the powers in that act. And if I need to do something, I’ll do it. I have the right to do a lot of things that people don’t even know about.”

Former Acting Homeland Security Undersecretary John Cohen, now an ABC News contributor, says the declaration “signals the administration is finally recognizing the significance of these circumstances and bringing to bear all available resources of the federal government to address it.”

“This is an important step that based on current conditions should surprise no one — the only surprise is that it wasn’t done sooner,” Cohen said.

You can read the rest of Libby Cathey’s article at ABCnews.com

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