Your government at work

The Examiner reports on powers being given to the executive branch by the executive branch “under emergency and non-emergency conditions”:

Obama signed a new Executive Order which expands upon a prior order issued in 1950 for Disaster Preparedness, and gives the office of the President complete control over all the resources in the United States in times of war or emergency. The National Defense Resources Preparedness order gives the Executive Branch the power to control and allocate energy, production, transportation, food, and even water resources by decree under the auspices of national defense and national security. The order is not limited to wartime implementation, as one of the order’s functions includes the command and control of resources in peacetime determinations.

Section 101. Purpose. This order delegates authorities and addresses national defense resource policies and programs under the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (the “Act”)…(b) assess on an ongoing basis the capability of the domestic industrial and technological base to satisfy requirements in peacetime and times of national emergency, specifically evaluating the availability of the most critical resource and production sources, including subcontractors and suppliers, materials, skilled labor, and professional and technical personnel…

Sec. 201. Priorities and Allocations Authorities. (a) The authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071, to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the following agency heads:

(1) the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer; (2) the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy; (3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources; (4) the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation; (5) the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and (6) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials…(e) “Food resources” means all commodities and products, (simple, mixed, or compound), or complements to such commodities or products, that are capable of being ingested by either human beings or animals…

(b) The Secretary of each agency delegated authority under subsection (a) of this section (resource departments) shall plan for and issue regulations to prioritize and allocate resources and establish standards and procedures by which the authority shall be used to promote the national defense, under both emergency and non-emergency conditions.

For extra fun reading in the 5000 word document, Part III authorizes loans, loan guarantees and subsidies to whomever at the discretion of the administration. Party time — for some. For certain others, not so much. (We’re reminded of something we overheard on an airplane a couple of years ago.)

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