House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to introduce legislation to establish a commission to assess the physical and mental health of the president.
The bill would add a clause within the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and would need approval from the Senate and President Trump.
One week after President Trump announced he had COVID-19, Democrats in Congress proposed creating a commission to help decide whether to transfer a future U.S. president's powers when incapacitated https://t.co/pwmR6sE75w pic.twitter.com/8DDhmOF3ke
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 9, 2020
The commission would be established under the 25th Amendment, which enables “Congress to help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership in the highest office in the Executive Branch of government,” the news release states.
The 25th Amendment currently delegates the authority for the Vice President to assume control of the presidency following the president’s death or resignation.
Pelosi’s bill, co-sponsored by Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin, would provide a commission of doctors and other healthcare professionals to assess the president’s wellbeing and make a determination for when the vice president should assume control.
The amendment currently also provides a procedure should there be a vacancy in the vice presidency: “Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.”
Axios reports however that the move is almost entirely symbolic as it would not clear the Republican-controlled Senate and or be signed by President Trump.
Raskin introduced similar legislation in 2017, during Trump’s first year in office, called the “Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act.”
The bill read:
SEC. 3. DUTY OF COMMISSION.
The 2017 bill was introduced to the House but was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary and then the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.