States of emergency are nothing new for the United States.
President Donald Trump’s declaration on the opioid crisis marks the 29th concurrent active national emergency in America — a state in which the United States has existed for nearly four decades straight.
“The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I am saying, officially, right now, it is an emergency. It’s a national emergency,” Trump said on Thursday. “We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis. It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had.”
The rapid increase in the number of drug-related deaths over the last two decades prompted Trump’s first national emergency declaration. But more than two dozen national emergencies are already in effect from past presidents, many of them already renewed by Trump.
This is according to a CNN analysis of data from the Congressional Research Service, the Federal Register and the White House.
Declaring a national state of emergency under the National Emergencies Act of 1974 outlines how a president can activate special statutory power during a crisis.
George W. Bush declared 13 emergencies and Barack Obama declared 12 — nearly all of which are still active today. Bill Clinton declared 17 national emergencies, six of which are still active. Ronald Reagan declared six and George H.W. Bush declared four — but all of those have been revoked by now.
The first declaration under the National Emergencies Act of 1974 came during the Iran hostage crisis — a national emergency that is still active today. Jimmy Carter blocked Iranian government property from entering the country. It’s been renewed each year by all presidents since then.
Presidents must renew national emergencies every year, because the statute lets emergencies automatically expire after one year.
A special White House panel led by New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie recommended that Trump make the emergency declaration on opioids. A statement from the White House said Trump has “instructed his Administration to use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic.”
Other ongoing national emergencies focus on the 9/11 terror attacks, the war in Iraq and the blocking of some property and people from around the world in countries such as Yemen, Ukraine, South Sudan, Venezuela and Burundi.
Past emergencies have focused on everything from swine flu to rough diamonds.
Here’s a list…