House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, alarmed by President Donald Trump’s erratic behavior in recent days, is putting her weight behind a bill to give Congress a role in determining whether the President of the United States must be forced out of office because he’s incapable of doing his job.
The move, in response to Trump’s conduct in the days after testing positive for the coronavirus, would establish a process to effectively give Congress a say in removing a president from office under the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, which allows for a president to be removed from office if a majority of Cabinet members and the vice president consider him unable to carry out his duties. Section four of the 25th Amendment also says that if a majority of a body established by law, along with the vice president, declare in writing that if the president is disabled and unable to do his job, the vice president immediately becomes the acting president.
The bill, Democrats say, will create that body to help determine the fitness of the president. The proposal, which will be introduced Friday by Pelosi and Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, will create a body designed to “help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership in the highest office in the Executive Branch of government,” according to Pelosi’s office.
The measure stands virtually no chance of becoming law. But it is designed to heighten the attention on Trump’s condition after his doctors have provided limited information about his recovery from coronavirus.
Pelosi teased the plan at a news conference Thursday, saying she would speak about the 25h Amendment issue on Friday. And in a series of recent comments, Pelosi questioned whether Trump can do his job given his drug regimen, including the use of a steroid.
On Thursday, she said that Trump appears to be “in an altered state right now” and told Bloomberg TV that “there may be some impairment of judgment.”
Asked if she has questions about the President’s capability to serve in the office right now, Pelosi said, “What I said about the President was that we don’t know if somebody who — I’ve not said this, I’ve quoted others to say there are those who say that when you’re on steroids and/or if you have Covid-19 or both that there may be some impairment of judgment, but again that’s for the doctors and the scientists to determine.”
The comments prompted an angry retort from Trump, who retweeted several messages suggesting that Pelosi is trying to mount a coup. Trump ultimately responded to Pelosi: “Crazy Nancy is the one who should be under observation. They don’t call her Crazy for nothing!”