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Latest from Mike Buresh

  • Saturday will largely uneventful for Jacksonville -- unseasonably warm and and breezy -- but Sunday promises to be another story.    Be wary for the potential for severe storms -- including tornadoes -- especially in the areas north of west of Jacksonville. Southeast Georgia needs to be on alert for severe storms by late Saturday and into Sunday. On Sunday, a squall line of severe storms will develop near the Big Bend of Florida in the morning and move rapidly northeast into and across all of Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. There is a high likelihood of damaging winds along with isolated tornadoes, but they will be gone by 6 p.m. Hurricane Matthew weakened a lot of trees, so branches and trees might come down more easily. There will be strong winds even without any thunderstorms, which could cause more tree damage and downed power lines. Be prepared for fast-changing conditions. There is a fine line late Saturday between nothing at all vs. very severe storms.  A similar storm has already caused multiple deaths in Mississippi. 
  • The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season will be remembered in NE Florida for the damage that Matthew left behind. But our area saw impacts from Colin, Julia, and Hermine.  Matthew was the costliest storm in NE Florida, and up the coast into the Carolinas. Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says, despite our close brush with disaster, many people living inland may grow complacent because they didn't see any damage. DOWNLOAD THE HURRICANE SEASON RECAP PODCAST  Hermine ended Florida’s 11-year hurricane-free streak when it made landfall in the Big Bend in September.   Tropical Storm Colin spun up a tornado on Jacksonville's westside in June.  The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season will go down as one of the longest on record.  Hurricane Alex formed in January deep in the north Atlantic Ocean.  Hurricane Otto in late November became the latest storm ever to form in the Caribbean.
  • An isolated microburst on Jacksonville's westside brought down trees around 103rd and I-295 Wednesday.  Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says winds were estimated at up to 60 mph.  He says hail reports approaching 1'' in diameter was also reported in Wednesday's storms.  Lightning caused a few small fires, too.  Buresh says we could be in for another stormy afternoon Thursday.  'That sea breeze will once again trigger some locally heavy afternoon storms. They'll be mostly inland, they will be hit and miss, but they'll be slow movers and where they hit, they hit hard', said Buresh.  LISTEN TO MIKE'S DAILY DISCUSSION PODCAST FOR INDEPTH WEATHER COVERAGE A lightning strike caused a garage to catch fire at a home north of Collins Road, Duval County Emergency Management reported. As many as 2,250 JEA customers were without power after heavy rain and hail hit. JEA said a tree was down on Shindler Drive and the utility fixed outages on the Westside.  The National Weather Service reported a tree fell on a house on Firestone Road and another tree reportedly fell near Herlong Airport.
  • Florida's ten year hurricane drought has brought a relative lack of concern, and that could lead to complacency. A poll by Mason-Dixon finds 60% of Floridians feel the state will once again avoid a major storm this season, and don't feel vulnerable to the damage one court cause. And nearly one in three people say they will not evacuate in the face of a Category 1 storm.  Among younger residents 18-34, only 28% think there is at least some chance for a hurricane, and 67% don't believe there is.  Among those 65+, a majority (51%) do feel a storm could develop and only 42% are doubtful.  Listen to Action News Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh react to the poll results, and look ahead to what's currently brewing in the tropics.  
  • The WOKV Severe Weather Center worked through the night to update severe storms in NE Florida.  For many it may have been another rude awakening with loud claps of thunder, lots of bright lightning, and several inches of rain.  The National Weather Service in Jacksonville says rainfall estimates show between two and three inches of rain fell from central Clay County into Orange Park, downtown Jacksonville and to the northside of Jacksonville.  Now the focus is on cleanup, with debris scattered across lawns, and power is restored.  Action News Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says the stormy pattern continues today, and actually picks up in intensity through the week. 'Frequent thunderstorms late into the week, into the weekend and next week that will dump a lot of rain on most areas', said Buresh.   And that, Mike says, should really help extinguish the 40 wildfires burning across our area.
  • Heavy rain has cleared out making way for a cooler Thanksgiving weekend. The threat for significant flooding has ended. Action News Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says the Jacksonville International Airport broke the daily record rain of 1.45' for Nov. 25th with 1.61'.  Fleming Island recorded 2.36' and Green Cove Springs saw 2.15'. Buresh says clearing skies, breezy north winds and much cooler temperatures will follow by Wednesday afternoon but with highs only in the upper 50s to low 60s. Thanksgiving Day looks pretty nice but chilly to start.  Early morning temperatures in the 30s to low 40s will reach the lower 60s under sunny skies in the afternoon with a brisk north wind.
  • There were no tornado touchdowns reported and no  injuries from a strong storm front that moved through NE Florida Monday. We are still gathering damage reports, but so far we know of strong winds that blew down trees and damaged cars and porches, though at least one structure in Baker county sustained heavy wind damage and a mobile home was also damaged when a tree feel across it.  Action News Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh we'll now see clear skies and plunging temperatures. Tuesday will be sunny and chilly with morning lows near 40 degrees and high temperatures only in the mid 50's.The coolest morning since last winter is expected Wednesday morning with a hard freeze expected with record-setting lows in the upper 20's. The record low temperature for Wednesday is 32 degrees (2008).Mike Buresh says it will be the first freeze at JIA since February 14th & for inland areas north and west of Jacksonville since February 28th.
  • It's feeling kind of raw Thursday morning with low wind chills and temps that will struggle to reach 50 in the afternoon.  Action News Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says unlike some of the recent glancing blows, we're in a pattern of cold that lasts into next week.  'Friday morning's lows will be dipping into the upper 20's and low 30's mainly to the west of I-95.  Saturday will be a little bit cooler, and then Sunday morning stays above freezing at the beaches but colder inland'.  Afternoons this weekend will be below the January average. Hear Mike Buresh describe the conditions through the weekend and into early next week here. 
  • We're in for an unseasonably warm weekend.   Action News Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says we could reach all-time December high temps on Sunday. We'll be sunny on Saturday and Sunday.  If you're going to the final Jaguars home game of the season it's going to be really toasty.  Mike is tracking a cold front for Monday which will bring some rain by the afternoon.  If you're traveling ahead of Christmas, nasty weather from Texas to Michigan could affect travel by car and plane. Listen to the weekend and five-day forecast from Action News Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh here.
  • Mike Buresh

    Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh anchors the 5,6, and 11 p.m. newscasts on WJAX-TV and the 10 p.m. newscast on WFOX-TV and can be heard daily on News 104.5 WOKV.

    Buresh is a self-professed "weather holic" and his  fascination with weather developed at a very young age while growing up in rural Iowa.  As  early as the second grade, Mike's mom says he was drawing weather maps and "always looking at the sky."

    Mike's passion for weather continues to this day as Mike eats, drinks, breathes and - yes - sleeps weather.  Or as he likes to call it: "All the Weather, All the Time!"

    Mike graduated from Iowa State University in 1987 but began his college studies at Oklahoma University where he became an experienced "storm chaser" in addition to working at the National Weather Service.

    Shortly after graduating, Mike earned the American Meteorological Society's "Seal of Approval" and has also achieved his Certification for Broadcast Meteorologist which certifies that Mike meets specific educational and experience criteria and has passed rigorous testing in his knowledge and communication of meteorology and related sciences needed to be an effective broadcast meteorologist.

    Buresh began his television meteorology career at WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa and most recently at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio before coming to the First Coast. Mike has calmly, effectively and accurately warned, tracked and informed viewers about tornadoes, waterspouts, floods and many local tropical cyclones including Bonnie, Charley, Frances, Jeanne, Fay, Beryl, Debby and Andrea to name just a few.

    Jacksonville's Most Accurate Weather 

    Mike and his First Alert forecast have been rated as the "Most Accurate" in the Jacksonville television market according to the independent service "WeatheRate". 

    If you would like the most accurate Chief Meteorologist to visit your school, club or civic organization,  E-mail Mike » . Mike is also an active member of the Jacksonville Salvation Army Advisory Board.

    He has traveled extensively including trips to Australia, Asia, Central and South America, Galapagos Islands and twice to Africa.

    When Mike isn't forecasting your weather he enjoys golf, basketball, football, swimming, water skiing, the beach, reading, community outreach and, most of all, spending time with his lovely wife, daughters and "best friend", Opie, the dog.

    Mike is an avid writer and has a large following in the blog-o-sphere --  "Buresh Blog"  and  "Talking the Tropics With Mike" (hurricane season June 1st-Nov. 30th).

    Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • As the investigation of a quadruple shooting in Northwest Jacksonville continues, police now say the situation escalated from a planned fight. JSO responded to Elizabeth Powell Park on Redpoll Avenue Thursday night following reports of a shooting. Police initially said several people were gathered at the basketball courts when a fight broke out and several people on scene shot at each other. In all, a 14-year-old and a 24-year-old were killed, and two other people suffered non-life threatening injuries. Investigators now say the fight was actually planned in advance between two female acquaintances who were in an ongoing dispute. JSO says people learned about the fight and gathered to watch, and several ultimately got involved. Some of those spectators then pulled guns and started shooting. In light of this, JSO says they do not believe the shooting was random. Police are asking for any information you have, including asking people who were at the park or watching the fight to come forward. If anyone has video of the fight or has seen posts on social media, they’re asking those people to let them know. You can contact JSO at 904-630-0500 or JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. You can also submit an anonymous tip and be eligible for a possible $3,000 reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
  • A gunman opened fire at the Henry Pratt Company, a valve manufacturer in suburban Chicago on Friday, killing five people and wounding at least five police officers before he was fatally shot, police said. >> Read more trending news Officers arrived within four minutes of receiving reports of a shooting and were fired upon as soon as they entered the 29,000-square-foot manufacturing warehouse, Aurora, Police Chief Kristen Ziman said in a news conference. Update 6:45 p.m. EST Feb. 15: The chief of police says five people were killed and five officers were wounded in a shooting at a business in suburban Chicago. Aurora Police Chief, Kristen Ziman, identified the gunman as 45-year-old Gary Martin. Ziman says the gunman was also killed. The five police officers that were injured in the shooting are in stable condition according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Update 5:15 p.m. EST Feb. 15: A spokesman for the coroner’s office says at least one person is dead following a shooting at a business in suburban Chicago.  Kane County coroner’s office spokesman Chris Nelson says at least one person was killed in the attack Friday afternoon at the Henry Pratt Co. building in Aurora. Update 4:45 p.m. EST Feb. 15: A city spokesman told WGN that at least four police officers were injured.  Police have not said if anyone else has been injured. Update 4:15 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Initial reports indicate that the shooter has been apprehended, but the area is still on lockdown. Update 3:55 p.m. EST Feb. 15: A man who said he witnessed Friday’s shooting told WLS-TV that he recognized the person who opened fire at the Henry Pratt Company. The man told WLS-TV that the shooter was one of his co-workers. Update 3:50 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Police confirmed they are continue to respond Friday afternoon to an active shooting reported in Aurora. Update 3:45 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Citing preliminary reports from the scene, the Daily Herald reported several people were injured in the ongoing active shooter situation reported Friday afternoon in Aurora. Police did not immediately confirm the report. Update 3:40 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Authorities with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are responding to the reported shooting, officials said. Check back for updates to this developing story.
  • President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday to fund his promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border after Congress passed a bipartisan border security bill that offered only a fraction of the $5.7 billion he had sought. >> Read more trending news  White House officials confirmed Friday afternoon that Trump also signed the spending compromise into law to avoid a partial government shutdown. Update 3:25 p.m. EST Feb. 15:A lawsuit filed Friday by an ethics watchdog group aims to make public documents that could determine whether the president has the legal authority to invoke emergency powers to fund his promised border wall. In a statement, officials with the nonpartisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said the group requested documentation, including legal opinions from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, to determine whether the president wrongfully used his emergency powers. “President Trump’s threatened declaration of a national emergency for these purposes raised some serious questions among the public and Congress that the president was considering actions of doubtful legality based on misstated facts and outright falsehoods to make an end-run round Congress’ constitutional authority to make laws and appropriate funds,” attorneys for CREW said in the lawsuit. >> Read the lawsuit filled by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington  The group said it submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Office of Legal Counsel last month and that it got a response on Feb. 12 that indicated authorities would not be able to expedite the request or respond to it within the 20-day statutory deadline. “Americans deserve to know the true basis for President Trump’s unprecedented decision to enact emergency powers to pay for a border wall,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement. Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union said the group also plans to file suit. Update 2:30 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Trump has signed a bill passed by Congress to fund several federal departments until September 30, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Friday afternoon to The Associated Press. Update 12:35 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, accused Democrats of playing partisan politics in refusing to fund Trump’s border wall. “President Trump’s decision to announce emergency action is the predictable and understandable consequence of Democrats’ decision to put partisan obstruction ahead of the national interest,” McConnell said. Democrats have repeatedly voice opposition to the border wall, which critics say would not effectively address issues like drug trafficking and illegal immigration, which Trump purports such a wall would solve. Update 11:25 a.m. EST Feb. 15: In a joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, condemned what they called “the president’s unlawful declaration over a crisis that does not exist.” “This issue transcends partisan politics and goes to the core of the founders’ conception for America, which commands Congress to limit an overreaching executive. The president’s emergency declaration, if unchecked, would fundamentally alter the balance of powers, inconsistent with our founders’ vision,” the statement said. “We call upon our Republican colleagues to join us to defend the Constitution.” Update 11:10 a.m. EST Feb. 15: Trump said he’s expecting the administration to be sued after he signs a national emergency declaration to fund the building of wall on the southern border. “The order is signed and I'll sign the final papers as soon as I get into the Oval Office,” Trump said Friday while addressing reporters in the Rose Garden.  “I expect to be sued -- I shouldn’t be sued,” Trump said Friday while addressing reporters in the Rose Garden. “I think we’ll be very successful in court. I think it’s clear.” He said he expects the case will likely make it to the Supreme Court, the nation’s highest court. “It’ll go through a process and happily we’ll win, I think,” he said. Update 10:50 a.m. EST Feb. 15: “I’m going to sign a national emergency,” Trump said. “We’re talking about an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.”  >> National emergency likely to be blocked by courts, DOJ tells White House: reports Update 10:25 a.m. EST Feb. 15: Trump will declare a national emergency and use executive actions to funnel over $6 billion in funds from the Treasury Department and the Pentagon for his border wall, Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree reported. “With the declaration of a national emergency, the President will have access to roughly $8 billion worth of money that can be used to secure the southern border,” Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters in a call before the president’s announcement. >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: White House: Trump using national emergency and executive actions for border wall Update 10 a.m. EST Feb. 15: Trump is expected on Friday morning to deliver remarks from the Rose Garden on the southern border after White House officials said he plans to declare a national emergency to fund his border wall. Update 10 p.m. EST Feb. 14: At 10 a.m. on Friday, President Donald Trump is expected to deliver remarks from the Rose Garden about the southern border. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Congress passes border deal as Trump readies emergency for border wall The White House announced earlier that Trump will declare a national emergency that would enable him to transfer funding from other accounts for additional miles of border fencing. Update 9 p.m. EST Feb. 14: The House easily approved border funding plan, as President Donald Trump prepared an emergency declaration to fund a border wall. The bill also closes a chapter by preventing a second government shutdown at midnight Friday and by providing $333 billion to finance several Cabinet agencies through September. Trump has indicated he’ll sign the measure though he is not happy with it, and for a few hours Thursday he was reportedly having second thoughts. Update 4:30 p.m. EST Feb. 14: The government funding bill that includes $1.375 billion for 55 miles of border wall, passed the Senate with a 83 - 16 vote. The bill will go to the House for a final vote Thursday evening. Update 4 p.m. EST Feb. 14: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says if President Donald Trump declares a national emergency at the border he’s making an “end run around Congress.” “The President is doing an end run around the Congress and the power of the purse,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who reserved the right to lead a legal challenge against any emergency declaration. Pelosi said that there is no crisis at the border with Mexico that requires a national emergency order. >> Trump's border wall: What is a national emergency? She did not say if House Democrats would legally challenge the president. But Pelosi said if Trump invokes an emergency declaration it should be met with “great unease and dismay” as an overreach of executive authority. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Thursday afternoon that the White House is “very prepared” for a legal challenge following the declaration of a National Emergency. Update 3:15 p.m. EST Feb. 14: Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that President Donald Trump is going to sign a border deal and at the same time issue a national emergency declaration. The compromise will keep departments running through the fiscal year but without the $5.7 billion Trump wanted for the border wall with Mexico.  The House is also expected to vote on the bill later Thursday. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders sent a statement confirming that Trump intends to sign the bill and will issue “other executive action - including a national emergency.” An emergency declaration to shift funding from other federal priorities to the border is expected to face swift legal challenge. Update 12:40 p.m. EST Feb. 14: Trump said in a tweet Thursday that he and his team were reviewing the funding bill proposed by legislators. Congress is expected to vote Thursday on the bipartisan accord to prevent another partial federal shutdown ahead of Friday's deadline. Trump has not definitively said whether he’ll sign the bill if it passes the legislature. The bill would fund several departments, including Agriculture, Justice and State, until Sept. 30 but it includes only $1.4 billion to build new barriers on the border. Trump had asked Congress to provide $5.7 billion in funding. Update 9:55 a.m. EST Feb. 14: The more than 1,600-page compromise, made up of seven different funding bills, was unveiled early Thursday. It includes $1.4 billion to build new barriers on the border and over $1 billion to fund other border security measures. If passed, the bill would prevent a partial government shutdown like the 35-day closure that started after lawmakers failed to reach a compromise in December.  >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: Five tidbits from the border security funding deal in Congress President Donald Trump has given mixed signals in recent days over whether he plans to sign the bill or not. He’s told reporters in recent days that a second government shutdown as federal workers continue to dig out from the last closure “would be a terrible thing.” However, Adam Kennedy, the deputy director of White House communications, told NPR that the president “doesn’t want his hands tied on border security.” 'I think the president is going to fully review the bill,' Kennedy said. 'I think he wants to review it before he signs it.' Original report: President Donald Trump is expected to sign the deal lawmakers have hammered out to avoid a second shutdown, CNN is reporting. >> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Trump hints at ‘national emergency’ to funnel money to border wall On Tuesday, Trump said he was “not happy” with the spending plan negotiators came up with Monday night, CNN reported. That deal includes $1.375 billion in funding for border barriers, but not a concrete wall, according to Cox Media Group Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree. “It’s not doing the trick,” Trump said, adding that he is “considering everything” when asked whether a national emergency declaration was on the table. He said that if there is another shutdown, it would be “the Democrats’ fault.” Trump also took to Twitter later Tuesday, claiming that the wall is already being built. >> See the tweet here The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • As President Donald Trump on Friday announced a pair of executive actions and declared a national emergency to funnel more money into border security, lawmakers in both parties in Congress were left in the dark on how the Pentagon would deal with the largest part of the President’s declaration, carving $3.6 billion out of military construction projects authorized and funded by the U.S. House and Senate. “I strongly believe securing our border should not be done at the expense of previously funded military construction projects,” said Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), whose district is home to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, which received $116 million in 2019 for construction of a new building for the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. “We certainly cannot allow him to rob our military of $3.5 billion for critical construction projects that serve our troops, support our allies, and deter our adversaries,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI). Congress approved $10.3 billion for military construction for Fiscal Year 2019, doling out money to dozens of domestic and overseas military facilities, projects which are often prized as bring-home-the-bacon items for Democrats and Republicans alike in Congress. The list of military construction projects in each year’s budget runs the gamut of military needs – from an F-35 maintenance hangar at Camp Pendleton in California, to a training facility at the Mayport Naval Base near Jacksonville, Florida, to a reserve training center at Fort Benning in Georgia, to a dry dock facility at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and much more. In all, military construction money was approved last fall by lawmakers for defense installations in 38 different states, and at least 14 overseas locations, some of those U.S. possessions. You can read through the list of projects from the bill here. A quick look at the list of military facilities with 2019 funding shows that many of them are located in House districts held by Republican lawmakers – who could find money for their local military project in jeopardy, as the President tries to funnel more money to his signature border wall. Democrats from around the country were quick to issue statements asking that their home state military construction projects be spared from any cuts, and challenging their GOP colleagues to do the same. Trump’s “National Emergency” strips billlions of dollars from base housing construction. Martha will you join me in opposing this farce? Who is more important the military spouses or your obedience to the President? https://t.co/Z56pZ9VRYr — Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) February 15, 2019 The President's unconstitutional action threatens to take money away from construction at Nellis Air Force Base, and local national security activities that keep Nevada families safe. I will support the House’s actions to restore order and protect Nevadans. — Rep. Steven Horsford (@RepHorsford) February 15, 2019 Since Trump reportedly plans to take money from existing military construction projects for his #nationalemergency, this could steal millions in approved & necessary funding away from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. #mepolitics My full statement on his authoritarian power grab pic.twitter.com/djQdIcHmub — Chellie Pingree (@chelliepingree) February 15, 2019 The Pentagon and the White House had no answers for reporters on Friday on which military construction projects would be put on hold, whether from the 2019 budget, or from money approved by Congress, but not yet spent from previous years. “We would be looking at lower priority military construction projects,” a senior administration official told reporters on a Friday conference call before the President’s announcement. That official – and another senior White House official on the call – both downplayed the amount of money being taken from military construction, with one saying the budget was ‘substantially’ more than the $3.6 billion being diverted by the President. But that’s not the case. “I sit on the committee that funds Military Construction,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) tweeted on Friday. “Trump is taking $3.5 billion out of the $10 billion that’s in the account. That’s 35%.” Earlier this month, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee specifically said his biggest concern about an emergency would be taking money out of military construction, a point Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) emphasized again this week. “As I heard in a hearing yesterday, military housing and all military installations are facing disrepair and poor conditions,” Inhofe said. “We cannot afford to allow them to be further impacted.”
  • Can President Donald Trump declare a national emergency in order to fund the wall?  >> Read more trending news Here is a look at the powers that come into play when a president declares a national emergency and just what the law allows him to do. Can he do that? The president, at his or her discretion, has the authority to declare a national emergency. Historically, that authority comes from Congress, which by 1973 had enacted more than 470 statutes pertaining to the president’s authority during a national emergency.  In 1976, Congress enacted the National Emergencies Act that limited the scope of response to declared states of emergency.The act: Revoked the powers that had been granted to the president under the four states of emergency that were still active in 1976. Prescribed procedures for invoking any powers in the future. Declared that states of emergency would automatically end one year after their declaration unless the president publishes a notice of renewal in the Federal Register within 90 days of the termination date. He or she must also officially notify Congress of the renewal. Required each house of Congress meet every six months to consider a vote to end the state of emergency. The incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Adam Smith, D-Washington, agreed that Trump has the authority to declare an emergency and have the U.S. military build the wall. He said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that while Trump can do it, such an action would likely be challenged in court. >> National emergency likely to be blocked by courts, DOJ tells White House: reports “Unfortunately, the short answer is yes,” Smith said when asked if Trump has the authority to declare a national emergency and build the wall.“I think the president would be wide open to a court challenge saying, ‘Where is the emergency?’ You have to establish that in order to do this,” Smith continued. “But beyond that, this would be a terrible use of Department of Defense dollars.”What is considered a national emergency?What constitutes a national emergency is open to interpretation, but generally, it is seen as an event that threatens the security of the people of the United States. According to the Congressional Review Service, a 1934 Supreme Court majority opinion characterized an emergency in terms of “urgency and relative infrequency of occurrence as well as equivalence to a public calamity resulting from fire, flood, or like disaster not reasonably subject to anticipation.”  What powers does a president have when a national emergency is declared?Through federal law, when an emergency is declared, a variety of powers are available to the president to use. Some of those powers require very little qualification from the president for their use. The Brennan Center for Justice lists 136 special provisions that become available to a president when he declares a national emergency. A CRS report states, 'Under the powers delegated by such statutes, the president may seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens.” However, under the National Emergencies Act, the president must name the specific emergency power he is invoking. How can he get funds for a wall by declaring a national emergency? Where does the money come from? According to U.S. law, a president can divert funds to a federal construction project during a declared national emergency. In the case of the border wall, the money could come from the budget for the Department of Defense under something called “un-obligated” money. Under federal law, un-obligated money in the Department of Defense's budget may be used by the military to fund construction projects during war or emergencies. Department of Defense spokesman Jamie Davis said in a statement that, “To date, there is no plan to build sections of the wall. However, Congress has provided options under Title 10 U.S. Code that could permit the Department of Defense to fund border barrier projects, such as in support of counter drug operations or national emergencies.” Can Congress get around it? Congress can end a president’s call of a national emergency with a joint resolution. A joint resolution is a legislative measure that requires the approval of both the House and the Senate. The resolution is submitted, just as a bill is, to the president for his or her signature, making it a law. 

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