The Democratic opposition in the United States presented a bill on Friday to create a commission that would help decide if a president is “capable” of governing, but clarified that this change would not immediately apply to the US president, Donald Trump.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, acknowledged in making the announcement that the proposal is spurred by concern generated by Trump’s recent diagnosis of COVID-19, but insisted that it is not an attempt to disqualify him. before the November 3 elections.
“This is not about President Trump, he will have to face the judgment of the voters. But he demonstrates the need for us to create a process for future presidents throughout the history of the United States,” Pelosi said during a press conference in the Capitol.
“If the president (Trump) wins this election, yes, it could apply to him. If not, it would apply to the next president,” the legislator said.
A CONSTITUTIONAL EMPTY
Trump’s diagnosis, who had at least two oxygen drops this past weekend, has underlined, in the view of Democrats, the fact that there is a gap in the constitutional process to declare that a president is incapable of exercising power of office, and therefore deprive him of power.
“In the era of COVID-19, which has devastated the staff of the White House, what if a president, any president, ends up in a coma, or on a respirator, and has not made arrangements for the temporary handover of the power? “said the bill’s co-author, Congressman and constitutional expert Jamie Raskin.
The proposal seeks to create a new mechanism to comply with the provisions of Amendment 25 to the Constitution, which describes what should happen if a president suddenly falls ill, dies, resigns or is “incapacitated” to exercise his position.
The fourth section of that amendment says that the US vice president can replace the president if he declares in writing that that president “is incapable” of holding the position, and if he has either a majority of the cabinet or of “another type of body that Congress may create by law. “
That body does not exist for now, and it is what the bill seeks to create: a bipartisan Commission on Presidential Capacity, composed of sixteen members plus a president elected by them.
Of those sixteen members, eight would be physicians – four elected by Democrats and four by Republicans -; and another eight would be former officials of the executive branch, that is, former US presidents, former attorneys general, or former secretaries of defense or state.
“That commission could only act in concert with the vice president,” Raskin recalled, but if Congress so decides, the commission could conduct a “medical examination of the president” to determine if he is capable of performing his duties.
It is very unlikely that this bill will be approved before the elections in the Senate, with a Republican majority, and although some conservatives have denounced that Pelosi is preparing a “coup” against Trump with this, the president himself accused the Democratic leader on Friday of having other intentions.
“Crazy Nancy Pelosi is targeting Amendment 25 with the goal of replacing (Democratic presidential candidate) Joe Biden with (his running mate) Kamala Harris. Democrats want that to happen fast because Sleepy Joe is gone!” Trump tweeted.