Update: 1:10 p.m. EDT Oct. 9: Pelosi spoke about the bill’s introduction Friday, but when asked if the legislation would apply to President Donald Trump responded, “that’s not for us to decide,” CNN reported.
“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 said, according to CNN. “This legislation applies to future presidents, but we are reminded of the necessity of action by the health of the current president.”
The proposal would allow Congress to weigh in about removing a president from office using the 25th Amendment.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the bill “absurd."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, was expected to announce Friday new legislation to create a commission that would evaluate a president’s fitness for office under the Constitution’s 25th Amendment. But the commission would not be used to determine President Donald Trump’s status.
“Tomorrow, by the way, tomorrow, come here tomorrow. We’re going to be talking about the 25th Amendment. But not to take attention away from the subject we have now,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference Thursday.
Pelosi, who, as speaker of the House is second in line to the presidency, did not answer questions about whether she thought the 25th Amendment should be invoked now, as President Donald Trump recovers from COVID-19.
She did comment on what she thought about the president’s mental state.
Trump “is, shall we say, in an altered state right now” and “the disassociation from reality would be funny if it weren’t so deadly,” Pelosi said.
The 25th Amendment lays out a procedure to remove a president from office if the vice president and a majority of cabinet members or “such other body as Congress may by law provide” decide that the president is not fit to serve. The vice president would become acting president.
Currently, only the vice president, in concert with a majority of the cabinet, can invoke that amendment.
Pelosi said she and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, a constitutional law expert, would unveil the legislation Friday. The bill would create a commission whose job it would be to determine whether a president is fit for office. The commission would be the “other body” spelled out in the 25th Amendment.
According to a story from The Hill, the legislation is likely to be the same as a bill that Raskin originally introduced in 2017. That bill would create a permanent Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity that would be comprised of 17 people, including physicians and past executive officeholders including former presidents, vice presidents or secretaries of state.
There would be eight people appointed by Republicans, eight appointed by Democrats and a chairperson selected by the House. They could look at the president’s health and even ask an exam to be done, CNN reported.
Congressional leaders would choose who would be on the commission.