Nancy Pelosi Says It’s Time To Talk About Donald Trump & The 25th Amendment
U.S. spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, listens during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, the United States, on Thursday, October 8, 2020. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin addressed the prospect of resuming broad stimulus talks in a meeting with Pelosi today, despite President Donald Trump saying he was closing negotiations. Photographer: Stefani Reynolds / Bloomberg via Getty Images
It's been a wild week for the Trump administration shaking after President Donald Trump announced that he and First Lady Melania Trump both tested positive for COVID-19 last Friday. The president's health has been on everyone's lips, including the leaders of Congress who want to speak about whether to invoke the 25th Amendment - the legal blueprint that allows the transfer of power from the president to the vice-president in the event of the incapacity President enables to serve. his death, his removal or his resignation.
"We'll be talking about the 25th Amendment tomorrow," House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi told reporters during her weekly Capitol Hill press conference. In a follow-up interview with Bloomberg TV, she added, “The president is currently in a changed state. I don't know how to respond to this behavior. "
Along with the President and First Lady, at least 34 White House staff, aides and other contacts tested positive for the virus in the past week, making the country's highest office a COVID hotspot. Pelosi asked Thursday why the White House wouldn't disclose when the president last received a negative COVID test, saying that discussions would begin on whether to move the 25th amendment.
What exactly does that mean? The 25th Amendment was ratified in 1967 in response to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy four years ago. The amendment says that the Vice President, followed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, will assume the President's “powers and duties” if a sitting President is unable to do so. In US history, the change has been enforced only nine times: eight times due to the death of a president and once due to a resignation.
To transfer the powers to Vice President Mike Pence, Trump would have to write a statement to the Senate President, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, and House Speaker Pelosi, stating that he will agree to this until he is fit for resumption of the office or another president is elected. If the president refuses to transfer power himself, the vice president and leaders of Congress can send a written statement to Grassley and Pelosi in his place.
Although the President's adult son, Donald Jr., sheds light on Pelosi's remarks and suggests it was a "good [joke]," the matter is indeed very serious. For days now, contradicting reports about the President's health have been coming from the White House, largely keeping the American public in the dark.
Medical experts working on limited information say Trump at one point had severe COVID-19 symptoms, with "lung impairment and blood oxygen levels below 94 percent, which is a limit for serious illness," the New York Times reported. After returning to the White House from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday, Trump's breathing appeared difficult, and as he starts his second week on the virus, his symptoms could worsen at any time.
As the Trump administration continues to keep relevant information about the president's health away from the public and Congress, it is the responsibility of political leaders to discuss next steps, including when the president will delegate powers.
Whether by election or not, we could get a new president one way or another.
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