WASHINGTON: This Congress may be worse than almost any other in history but you can’t lay the blame at its feet for its failure to reauthorize the Export Administration Act.
I’ve been writing about this for more than a decade and the bill just never gets passed because members get cold feet and aren’t able to figure out how a new bill might serve their or their constituents interests. Or the export process is undergoing major changes and Congress wants to wait and see what the administration actually plans to do.
Of course, Pratt & Whitney’s recent guilty plea to more than 500 arms export violations probably didn’t help the bill’s chances.
This time I think we can honestly say the Hill passed on a bill because the Obama Administration is in the midst of extensive changes to both the exports controlled by the State Department and those controlled by the Commerce Department. But once the new US Munitions List and the parallel Commerce list are published and the administration nails down just who will oversee what, Congress will have little wriggle room. After all, this bill has only floated since 2001, at least. If you want to niggle, you could argue Congress has failed to pass a meaningful bill since 1989. But 11 years is really probably enough.
Here’s the official announcement from the White House:
CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO
EXPORT CONTROL REGULATIONS
On August 17, 2001, consistent with the authority provided to the President under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), the President issued Executive Order 13222. In that order, he declared a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States in light of the expiration of the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2401 et seq.). Because the Export Administration Act has not been renewed by the Congress, the national emergency declared on August 17, 2001, must continue in effect beyond August 17, 2012. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13222.
This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.