Pelosi Unveils 25th Amendment Bid, Questions Trump’s Fitness | Political News

By LISA MASCARO, AP Congressional Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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”

Pelosi proposes experts review a president’s mental fitness under 25th Amendment

House Democrats, who have accused President Donald Trump of acting erratically as he battles the coronavirus, on Friday introduced a proposal to establish a panel to determine a president’s fitness for office under the Constitution’s 25th Amendment.



text: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi delivers remarks during a news conference to introduce legislation establishing a Commission on Presidential Capacity in the Capitol, in Washington, Oct. 2020.


© Shawn Thew/EPA via Shutterstock
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi delivers remarks during a news conference to introduce legislation establishing a Commission on Presidential Capacity in the Capitol, in Washington, Oct. 2020.

The move comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that Trump was in an “altered state,” but said Friday the measure wouldn’t apply to him.

“This is not about President Trump. He will face the judgment of the voters. But he shows the need for us to create a process for future presidents,” Pelosi told reporters at Capitol Hill news conference as she introduced the bill.

“This legislation applies to future presidents, but we are reminded of the necessity of action by the health of the current president,” she added. “It’s not about any of us making a judgment about the president’s well-being.”

When pressed by reporters if she thinks it’s time to invoke the 25th Amendment concerning Trump, Pelosi responded: “That’s not for us to decide.”

The measure would create an expert panel – with members appointed by Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate – to conduct a medical exam at the direction of Congress to “determine whether the President is mentally or physically unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office,” according to the text of a version of the proposal introduced in 2017 by Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland.

(MORE: In information vacuum, experts say Trump’s steroid treatment may hold clues to health status)

Raskin, a former constitutional law professor and member of the House Judiciary Committee, said the panel would include doctors as well as former presidents and Cabinet secretaries, who would each serve four-year terms.

“The population is getting older, politicians are getting older,” he said in an interview earlier this week. “It’s not hard to think that there will be future situations where the president’s physical and mental state may create issues for us. So, we just need to make sure that we have a structure and a process in place to address it.”



text: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi delivers remarks during a news conference to introduce legislation establishing a Commission on Presidential Capacity in the Capitol, in Washington, Oct. 2020.


© Shawn Thew/EPA via Shutterstock
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi delivers remarks during a news conference to introduce legislation establishing a Commission on Presidential Capacity in the Capitol, in Washington, Oct. 2020.

Pelosi has repeatedly expressed concerns in public and private this week about President Trump’s health amid his treatment for COVID-19.

Trump, at the direction of his doctors, has been taking dexamethasone, a steroid used to reduce lung inflammation in COVID patients, that can, in some cases, prompt psychiatric side effects, including mood swings, rage and psychosis.

“The president is, shall we say, in an altered state right now,” Pelosi said Thursday during an interview with Bloomberg TV. “I don’t know how to answer for that behavior.”

She continued, “There are

Pelosi unveils 25th Amendment bid, questions Trump’s fitness

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.



Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


© Provided by Associated Press
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)



Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., listens as Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. Pelosi wants legislation that would create a commission to allow Congress to intervene under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and remove the president from executive duties. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


© Provided by Associated Press
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., listens as Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. Pelosi wants legislation that would create a commission to allow Congress to intervene under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and remove the president from executive duties. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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.



Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. Joined by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Pelosi wants legislation that would create a commission to allow Congress to intervene under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and remove the president from executive duties. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


© Provided by Associated Press
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. Joined by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., Pelosi wants legislation that would create a commission to allow Congress to intervene under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and remove the president from executive duties. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“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.

In 25th Amendment bid, Pelosi mulls Trump’s fitness to serve

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It says the vice

In 25th Amendment Bid, Pelosi Mulls Trump’s Fitness to Serve | Health News

By LISA MASCARO, AP Congressional Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is questioning President Donald Trump’s fitness to serve, announcing legislation Thursday that would create a commission to allow Congress to intervene under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and remove the president from executive duties.

Just weeks before the Nov. 3 election, Pelosi said Trump needs to disclose more about his health after his COVID-19 diagnosis. She noted Trump’s “strange tweet” halting talks on a new coronavirus aid package — he subsequently tried to reverse course — and said Americans need to know when, exactly, he first contracted COVID as others in the White House became infected. On Friday, she plans to roll out the legislation that would launch the commission for review.

“The public needs to know the health condition of the president,” Pelosi said, later invoking the 25th Amendment, which allows a president’s cabinet or Congress to intervene when a president is unable to conduct the duties of the office.

Trump responded swiftly via Twitter.

“Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation. They don’t call her Crazy for nothing!” the president said.

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. More than 210,000 Americans have died and millions more infected by the virus that shows no signs of abating heading into what public health experts warn will be a difficult flu season and winter.

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, Senate Majority Leader Mitch 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.

On Friday, Pelosi along with Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a constitutional law professor, plan to roll out the legislation that would create a commission as outlined under the 25th Amendment, which was passed by Congress and ratified in 1967 as 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

Pelosi to propose experts review a president’s mental fitness under 25th Amendment

House Democrats, who have accused President Donald Trump of acting erratically as he battles the coronavirus, on Friday will introduce a proposal to establish a panel to determine a president’s fitness for office under the Constitution’s 25th Amendment.



a person wearing a costume: Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi gestures during the Weekly News Conference on Capitol Hill, Oct. 8, 2020 in Washington, DC.


© Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi gestures during the Weekly News Conference on Capitol Hill, Oct. 8, 2020 in Washington, DC.

The move comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday Trump was in an “altered state,” but has said it likely wouldn’t apply to him.

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The measure would create an expert panel – with members appointed by Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate – to conduct a medical exam at the direction of Congress to “determine whether the President is mentally or physically unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office,” according to the text of a version of the proposal introduced in 2017 by Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland.

(MORE: In information vacuum, experts say Trump’s steroid treatment may hold clues to health status)

Raskin, a former constitutional law professor and member of the House Judiciary Committee, said the panel would include doctors as well as former presidents and Cabinet secretaries, who would each serve four-year terms.

“The population is getting older, politicians are getting older,” he said in an interview earlier this week. “It’s not hard to think that there will be future situations where the president’s physical and mental state may create issues for us. So, we just need to make sure that we have a structure and a process in place to address it.”



a person wearing a costume: Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi gestures during the Weekly News Conference on Capitol Hill, Oct. 8, 2020 in Washington, DC.


© Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi gestures during the Weekly News Conference on Capitol Hill, Oct. 8, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Pelosi, who will reintroduce the measure with Raskin on Friday, has repeatedly expressed concerns in public and private this week about President Trump’s health amid his treatment for COVID-19.

Video: 25th Amendment sets president’s line of succession (Associated Press)

25th Amendment sets president’s line of succession

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Trump, at the direction of his doctors, has been taking dexamethasone, a steroid used to reduce lung inflammation in COVID patients, that can, in some cases, prompt psychiatric side effects, including mood swings, rage and psychosis.

“The president is, shall we say, in an altered state right now,” Pelosi said Thursday during an interview with 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.”

(MORE: All the president’s medicine: How doctors are treating Donald Trump)

Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s doctor, who has provided little information about the president’s condition and repeatedly contradicted himself in press conferences over the weekend, claimed to reporters on Monday that Trump has not displayed any neurological symptoms from the coronavirus, or side effects from his treatment.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump gestures as he returns to the White House, Oct. 5, 2020, after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md.


© Alex Brandon/AP
President Donald Trump gestures as he

In 25th Amendment bid, Pelosi mulls Trump’s fitness to serve

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. Negotiations between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for an additional coronavirus aid package were abruptly halted last week by President Donald Trump.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. Negotiations between Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for an additional coronavirus aid package were abruptly halted last week by President Donald Trump.

AP

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is questioning President Donald Trump’s fitness to serve, announcing legislation Thursday that would create a commission to allow Congress to intervene under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and remove the president from executive duties.

Just weeks before the Nov. 3 election, Pelosi said Trump needs to disclose more about his health after his COVID-19 diagnosis. She raised the idea of invoking the 25th Amendment, which allows a president’s Cabinet or Congress to intervene when a president is unable to conduct the duties of the office.

On Friday, she planned to roll out the legislation that would launch the commission for review.

Trump responded swiftly via Twitter.

“Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation. They don’t call her Crazy for nothing!” the president said.

His opponents have discussed invoking the 25th Amendment for some time, but are raising it now, so close to Election Day, as questions swirl about the president’s health. 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 during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill would create a commission as outlined under the 25th Amendment, which was passed by Congress and ratified in 1967 as 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.

Pelosi’s move came after she said earlier Thursday that she was “at the table” still ready to negotiate a coronavirus aid package. Trump had abruptly halted talks this week, leaving the economy reeling, his GOP allies scrambling and millions of Americans without additional support weeks before Election Day.

Pelosi said she told Trump’s chief negotiator, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, she was willing to consider a measure to prop up the airline industry, which is facing widespread layoffs. But that aid, she said, must go alongside broader legislation that includes the kind of COVID testing, tracing and health practices that Democrats say are needed as part of a national strategy to “crush the virus.”

“Lives are at stake,” Pelosi said at the

In 25th Amendment bid, Pelosi mulls Trump’s fitness to serve

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is questioning President Donald Trump’s fitness to serve, announcing legislation Thursday that would create a commission to allow Congress to intervene under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and remove the president from executive duties.

Just weeks before the Nov. 3 election, Pelosi said Trump needs to disclose more about his health after his COVID-19 diagnosis. She raised the idea of invoking the 25th Amendment, which allows a president’s Cabinet or Congress to intervene when a president is unable to conduct the duties of the office.

On Friday, she planned to roll out the legislation that would launch the commission for review.


Trump responded swiftly via Twitter.

“Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation. They don’t call her Crazy for nothing!” the president said.

His opponents have discussed invoking the 25th Amendment for some time, but are raising it now, so close to Election Day, as questions swirl about the president’s health. 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 during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill would create a commission as outlined under the 25th Amendment, which was passed by Congress and ratified in 1967 as 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.

Pelosi’s move came after she said earlier Thursday that she was “at the table” still ready to negotiate a coronavirus aid package. Trump had abruptly halted talks this week, leaving the economy reeling, his GOP allies scrambling and millions of Americans without additional support weeks before Election Day.

Pelosi said she told Trump’s chief negotiator, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, she was willing to consider a measure to prop up the airline industry, which is facing widespread layoffs. But that aid, she said, must go alongside broader legislation that includes the kind of COVID testing, tracing and health practices that Democrats say are needed as part of a national strategy to “crush the virus.”

“Lives are at stake,” Pelosi said at the Capitol. “This is deadly serious.”

In a stunning admission, Senate Majority Leader Mitch 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

Citing 25th Amendment, Pelosi, Raskin move to create panel that could rule on president’s fitness for office

The 25th Amendment formalizes that the vice president takes over the duties of the presidency in the event of a president’s death, inability to perform his duties or resignation from office. It also lays out a process by which a sitting president may be removed from office. Congress’s role in this, however, is limited.

President Trump’s four-day hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after contracting the novel coronavirus forced the administration to answer questions about the 25th Amendment and succession.

Administration officials said Trump remained on the job despite his hospitalization for covid-19 and there were no plans for Vice President Pence to assume even temporary authority as president. Trump returned to the White House Monday evening.

Pelosi, who as speaker is second in line to the presidency, previewed the move on Thursday, telling reporters that she would discuss the 25th Amendment to the Constitution on Friday. She did not elaborate.

“Tomorrow, by the way, tomorrow, come here tomorrow,” Pelosi abruptly told reporters at her weekly news conference, during which she mainly spoke about the need for a new round of coronavirus economic relief. “We’re going to be talking about the 25th Amendment.”

Asked toward the end of her news conference whether she could give more details, Pelosi only reiterated her call for reporters to return Friday.

Raskin introduced a similar measure in 2017 that would establish a congressionally appointed commission of physicians and top leaders who could evaluate the president’s health — both mental and physical — and work with the vice president on a transfer of power.

At the time, the Maryland Democrat said the move was necessary because Trump had “thrown our country into chaos at every turn” since his inauguration that January.

“For the security of our people and the safety of the Republic, we need to set up the ‘body’ called for in the 25th Amendment,” Raskin said in 2017. “The president can fire his entire Cabinet for asking the same question tens of millions of Americans are asking at their dinner tables, but he cannot fire Congress or the expert body we set up under the Constitution.”

Since Trump’s discharge Monday, some Democrats have voiced concern about the potential side effects of his medical treatment.

During an interview Wednesday on ABC News’s “The View,” Pelosi suggested that Trump’s covid-19 medications, which include steroids, may be having an effect on his mental capabilities.

“I said yesterday to my colleagues, I said there are those who say that the steroids had an impact on people’s thinking. I don’t know, but there are those health-care providers who say that,” Pelosi said Wednesday. “Also, if you have the coronavirus, it has an impact, as well.”

Under the 25th Amendment, a president could be declared “disabled” and involuntarily removed from office by joint agreement of the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet, something that has never happened.

In an event with the 92nd Street Y on Tuesday, Pelosi dismissed any suggestion of the 25th Amendment