The 25th Amendment outlines the transfer of power to the vice president if a president is removed, incapacitated or dies.
By Rebecca Shabad
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., plans to introduce legislation Friday that would create a “Commission on Presidential Capacity,” which would be involved in presidential transfer of power procedures under the 25th Amendment.
The legislation would create the commission “to help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership in the highest office in the Executive Branch of government,” Pelosi’s office said in a news release.
Pelosi will hold a news conference on the bill with Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., at the Capitol Friday morning, the release said. Raskin, a constitutional law expert, introduced a similar measure in a previous Congress.
This comes after Pelosi told reporters during her weekly press conference at the Capitol on Thursday to come to the Hill “tomorrow” because she said, “We’re going to be talking about the 25th Amendment.”
Asked whether she thought it was time to invoke the 25th Amendment because of President Donald Trump’s illness, Pelosi said she didn’t want to talk about it right then.
“If you want to talk about that, we’ll see you tomorrow,” said Pelosi, who then questioned why the White House has refused to reveal when the president had his last negative Covid-19 test.
The 25th Amendment provides for procedures for transferring power to the vice president in case of the president’s death, incapacitation, removal or resignation. The amendment was ratified and approved in the wake of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
One of its sections provides the vice president and majority of either the Cabinet “or such other body as Congress may by law provide” with a mechanism to transfer power from the president.
In an interview immediately after her press conference, Pelosi suggested that the president may not be thinking clearly because of the drugs he has taken while being treated for the disease.
“The president is, shall we say, in an altered state right now,” Pelosi said on Bloomberg TV. “I don’t know how to answer for that behavior.”
She continued, “There are those who say when you are on steroids or have Covid-19, there may be some impairment of judgment.”
Trump responded Thursday afternoon, tweeting that Pelosi “is the one who should be under observation.”
Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation. They don’t call her Crazy for nothing! https://t.co/7vE0Jvq0dM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2020
In a free-wheeling interview on the Fox Business Network on Thursday morning, Trump praised his medical care and downplayed the dangers of the coronavirus, saying he thought his infection “would have gone away by itself” without treatment.
“I don’t think I am contagious at all,” Trump added. “I stand very far away from everybody, whether I was or not, I wouldn’t, I still wouldn’t go to a rally if contagious.”
Trump is still within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s isolation window following the onset of symptoms last Thursday. CDC guidelines stipulate that people should isolate for 10 days from the point of showing symptoms and 20 days in severe cases.