Democrats Introduce Legislation To Set Up ‘Body’ To Determine If A President Is Incapacitated, Says It Has Nothing To Do With Trump

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced legislation Friday that would create a commission to allow Congress to remove a president from office using the 25th Amendment, just one day after she questioned President Donald Trump’s health.

“This is not about President Trump,” Pelosi said Friday, according to Fox News. “He will face the judgment of the voters. But he shows the need for us to create a process for future presidents.”

Trump tweeted Friday that Pelosi was eager to set the commission up to “replace” Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. (RELATED: Joe Rogan: People Are ‘Very Uncomfortable’ That Biden ‘Seems To Be Mentally Compromised’)

“Crazy Nancy Pelosi is looking at the 25th Amendment in order to replace Joe Biden with Kamala Harris. The Dems want that to happen fast because Sleepy Joe is out of it!!!”

Pelosi announced Thursday that she would be discussing the 25th Amendment Friday after noting that Trump’s recent coronavirus diagnosis raised many questions.

The bill was authored by Democratic Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, who said the pandemic highlights a need for a succession plan if a president becomes incapacitated.

“We need to act,” Raskin said, per the report.

“In times of chaos, we must hold fast to our Constitution. The 25th Amendment is all about the stability of the presidency and the continuity of the office.”

The Twenty-Fifth Amendment outlines procedures for succession of a president if the current president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

A president can cede their power to their vice president after declaring to the Speaker of the House that they are unable to carry out their duties.

Section 4 of the amendment says “the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress” can declare the president unable and remove the president.

Raskin said it’s time for Congress to set up this “body,” per Fox News.

The proposed bill would set up the “Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of the Office.” The commission would be made up of 17 members and would work with the vice president to determine if the president is unable to carry out their duty.

Under the proposal, the Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, Senate Majority Leader and Senate Minority Leader would each select four physicians and four psychiatrists to serve on the commission. The Democrat and Republican leaders of the House and Senate would then select, by party, four retired statespersons to serve, which could include former presidents, vice presidents, secretaries or attorney generals.

A 17th member would be appointed to act as chair.

“The 25th Amendment was adopted 50 years ago, but Congress has never set up the body it calls for to determine presidential fitness in the event of physical or psychological incapacity,” Raskin said, according to an official statement. “Now is the time to do it.”

This isn’t the first time Raskin has sought legislation to establish the “body” to remove a president. In 2017  he introduced similar legislation after claiming Trump had caused chaos across the country despite holding office for less than a year.

“Since January, President Trump has thrown our country into chaos at every turn,” Raskin said. “At a moment of unprecedented presidential chaos, the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity is essential, urgently needed and indispensable.”