Trump Declares He Alone Has Authority To Reopen State Economies

President Trump on Monday declared that he alone has the authority to “open up the states.”

Trump said the decision will be up to him “for many good reasons” — even though state governors have issued mandatory stay-at-home orders and have specific powers to do so under the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government. Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect…” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“… It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons. With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!”

Trump did not specify what authority he would use to force states to re-open. Governors have wide powers to control their own states, and the 10th Amendment says “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

More than 40 states have issued stay-at-home orders, and some lockdown, like the one issued by Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, run into June.  All 50 states are under a major disaster declaration for the first time in U.S. history, after Trump approved Wyoming’s declaration on Saturday.

Trump has repeatedly expressed his desire that the economy reopens as quickly as possible, but some of his top advisers on the White House Coronavirus Task Force say the country may be weeks away from being able to do so.

What’s more, the opening line in the current White House guidance to the nation, “30 Days to Slow the Spread,” is: “Listen and follow the directions of your STATE AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES.”

A second task force, this one to focus on re-opening the economy, “is set to be formally introduced Tuesday” and chaired by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Fox News reported Monday.

The task force, according to sources, will also include members of President Trump’s Cabinet, including:

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, Labor Secretary Gene Scalia, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and acting director of the Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought.

The task force is also expected to include acting chair of the Council of Economic Advisors Tom Philipson and White House advisers Larry Kudlow, Peter Navarro, Chris Liddell, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.


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