Daily Camera (Boulder)

Pelosi un­veils 25th Amend­ment bid,

- By Lisa Mascaro US Elections · U.S. News · US Politics · Politics · Elections · Nancy Pelosi · Washington · Donald Trump · White House Press Secretary · United States Senate · Kentucky · White House · John F. Kennedy · Maryland · Shepherdsville, KY · Shepherdsville · Jamie Raskin

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi un­veiled leg­is­la­tion Fri­day that would al­low Congress to in­ter­vene un­der the 25th Amend­ment to the Con­sti­tu­tion to re­move the pres­i­dent, in­sist­ing it’s not about Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump but in­spired by the need for greater con­gres­sional over­sight of his White House.

Pelosi has been rais­ing ques­tions about Trump’s men­tal fit­ness since his COVID-19 di­ag­no­sis and de­mand­ing more trans­parency about his health. The bill would set up a com­mis­sion to as­sess the pres­i­dent’s abil­ity to lead the coun­try and en­sure a con­ti­nu­ity of govern­ment. It comes one year af­ter Pelosi’s House launched im­peach­ment pro­ceed­ings against Trump.

“This is not about Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump — he will face the judg­ment of the vot­ers,” Pelosi said at a press con­fer­ence at the Capi­tol.

Just weeks be­fore the Nov. 3 elec­tion, with no hopes of the bill be­com­ing law, the roll­out was quickly dis­missed as a stunt by Trump’s team and top al­lies.

“It’s an ab­surd pro­posal,” said White House press sec­re­tary Kayleigh Mce­nany on Fox.

“Ab­so­lutely ab­surd,” said Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mcconnell dur­ing an ap­pear­ance in Shep­herdsville, Ken­tucky.

The pres­i­dent’s op­po­nents have dis­cussed in­vok­ing the 25th Amend­ment for some time, but are rais­ing it now, so close to Elec­tion Day, as the cam­paigns are fast turn­ing into a ref­er­en­dum on Trump’s han­dling of the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

Pelosi said Trump needs to dis­close more about his health af­ter his COVID-19 di­ag­no­sis and when, ex­actly, he first con­tracted COVID as oth­ers in the White House have be­come in­fected. More than 210,000 Amer­i­cans have died and mil­lions more have tested pos­i­tive for the virus, which shows no signs of abat­ing head­ing into what pub­lic health ex­perts warn will be a dif­fi­cult flu sea­son and win­ter.

The leg­is­la­tion that would cre­ate a com­mis­sion as out­lined un­der the 25th Amend­ment, which was passed by Congress and rat­i­fied in 1967 as a way to en­sure a con­ti­nu­ity of power in the af­ter­math of Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy’s as­sas­si­na­tion.

It says the vice pres­i­dent and a ma­jor­ity of prin­ci­pal of­fi­cers of the ex­ec­u­tive de­part­ments “or of such other body as Congress” may by law pro­vide a dec­la­ra­tion to Congress that the pres­i­dent “is un­able to dis­charge the powers and du­ties of his of­fice.” At that point, the vice pres­i­dent would im­me­di­ately as­sume the powers of act­ing pres­i­dent.

“Let Congress ex­ert the power the Con­sti­tu­tion gave us,” Pelosi said Fri­day stand­ing be­fore a poster of the amend­ment.

Pelosi was joined by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-MD., a con­sti­tu­tional scholar, who has pro­posed sim­i­lar bills in the past.

“In times of chaos we must hold fast to our Con­sti­tu­tion,” he said Fri­day.

Raskin said the com­mis­sion would be launched “only for the most ex­treme sit­u­a­tions.”

But, as Congress showed by im­peach­ing — and ac­quit­ting the pres­i­dent over the past year — the leg­isla­tive branch is de­ter­mined to ex­ert it­self at times as a check on the ex­ec­u­tive branch.

“Congress has a role to play,” Raskin said.

Trump says he “feels great” af­ter be­ing hos­pi­tal­ized and is back at work in the White House. But his doc­tors have given mixed sig­nals about his di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment. Trump plans to re­sume cam­paign­ing soon.

Congress is not in leg­isla­tive ses­sion, and so any se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion of the mea­sure, let alone votes in the House or Se­nate, is un­likely. But the bill serves as a po­lit­i­cal tool to stoke ques­tions about Trump’s health as his own White House is hit by an out­break in­fect­ing top aides, staff and vis­i­tors, in­clud­ing se­na­tors.

In a stun­ning ad­mis­sion, Mcconnell said Thurs­day that he had stopped go­ing to the White House two months ago be­cause he dis­agreed with its coro­n­avirus pro­to­cols. His last visit was Aug. 6.

“My im­pres­sion was their ap­proach to how to han­dle this was dif­fer­ent from mine and what I in­sisted we do in the Se­nate, which is to wear a mask and prac­tice so­cial dis­tanc­ing,” Mcconnell said at a cam­paign stop in north­ern Ken­tucky for his own re­elec­tion.

 ?? Drew An­gerer / Getty Im­ages ?? Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-cailf., speaks dur­ing a news con­fer­ence at the U.S. Capi­tol on Fri­day in Washington. Pelosi and House Democrats plan to in­tro­duce leg­is­la­tion based on the 25th Amend­ment that would cre­ate a Com­mis­sion on Pres­i­den­tial Ca­pac­ity that would re­view a pres­i­dent's fit­ness for of­fice.
Drew An­gerer / Getty Im­ages Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-cailf., speaks dur­ing a news con­fer­ence at the U.S. Capi­tol on Fri­day in Washington. Pelosi and House Democrats plan to in­tro­duce leg­is­la­tion based on the 25th Amend­ment that would cre­ate a Com­mis­sion on Pres­i­den­tial Ca­pac­ity that would re­view a pres­i­dent's fit­ness for of­fice.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA