Advocates calling for fresh look at continuity of government

Advocates calling for fresh look at continuity of government
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A letter signed by nearly 50 former members of Congress is calling for the formation of a new government body to address preparations for modern threats against the U.S. government. 

The letter, first obtained by Politico, said that the Continuity of Government Commission conducted an extensive review of all three branches of government.

The review concluded that "none of the three branches, including Congress, have adequate plans in place to ensure continuous and constitutionally valid operation in a time of national crisis," according to the letter.

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Specifically, it noted that a large-scale catastrophe could inhibit a quorum in the House, while a lone assassin could completely shift the power dynamics in a closely divided Congress. 

Following these findings, the commission issued several recommendations to strengthen the government's preparedness for national crises, according to a May 2003 report. Thursday's letter said that none of these recommendations were addressed in the nearly two decades since they were issued. 

The commission's letter stressed the importance of the government's ability to continue operations in unforeseen circumstances, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the deaths of Congress members, the aftermath of Jan. 6 and the anniversary of 9/11.

"As unpleasant as it may be to imagine, these vulnerabilities are invitations to future attacks," the letter said.