WASHINGTON (AP) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi questions the eligibility of President Donald Trump and on Thursday announced legislation to 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 November 3rd election, Pelosi said Trump needed to reveal more about his health after his COVID-19 Diagnosis. She noted that Trump’s “strange tweet” halted talks about a new coronavirus bailout – he then tried to reverse course –
“The public needs to know the state of health of the president,” Pelosi said, later invoking the 25th amendment that allows a president’s cabinet or congress to intervene when a president is unable to perform his duties.
Trump responded quickly on Twitter.
“Mad Nancy is the one who should be watched. They don’t call them crazy for nothing! “Said the President.
The President’s opponents have been debating the appeal to the 25th amendment for some time, but are now raising it, so close to election day. The campaigns are quickly turning into a referendum on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 210,000 Americans have died and millions more are infected with the virus, which shows no signs of a difficult flu season and winter coming.
Trump says he feels “great” after the hospital stay and is back to work in the White House. But his doctors have given mixed signals regarding his diagnosis and treatment. Trump plans to restart the campaign soon.
Congress is not in a legislative period, so serious consideration of the measure, let alone votes in the House or Senate, is unlikely. However, the bill serves as a political tool to ask questions about Trump’s health as his own White House is hit by an outbreak that infects top aids, staff and visitors, including senators.
In a startling admission, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he stopped going to the White House two months ago because he disagreed with coronavirus protocols. His last visit was August 6th.
“My impression was that their approach to dealing with it was different from mine and I insisted that we wear a mask and practice social distancing in the Senate,” said McConnell during a campaign freeze in northern Kentucky for his own re-election.
On Friday, Pelosi, along with Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., A professor of constitutional law, plans to introduce legislation to create a commission under the 25th Amendment, which was passed by Congress and ratified in 1967, ensuring continuity of power after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
It is said that the vice-president and a majority of officers in the executive departments “or any other body such as Congress” may by law declare to Congress that the president “is unable to perform the powers and duties of his office”. At that point, the vice president would immediately take over the powers of the incumbent president.
Trump abruptly stopped the talks This week about the new COVID relief package that is rocking the economy, messing up its GOP allies, and leaving millions of Americans with no additional support. Then he immediately reversed course and tried to start conversations.
It all came in a staggering series of tweets and comments days after he returned to the White House after being hospitalized for COVID-19.
First, on Tuesday, Trump urged Republican leaders in Congress to halt negotiations on an aid package. By Wednesday, he was trying to get everyone back to the table for his priority issues – including $ 1,200 stimulus checks for almost all adult Americans.
Pelosi said Thursday that the Democrats are “still at the table” and their office has resumed talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
She said she told Mnuchin she was ready to consider a measure to prop up the aviation industry, which is facing widespread layoffs. That aid, however, needs to go hand in hand with broader legislation, including the kind of COVID testing, tracking and health practices that Democrats believe are needed as part of a national “fight the virus” strategy.
Ordinarily, the high stakes and fragmented politics ahead of an election could make for a robust package. But with other Republicans refusing to spend more money, there doesn’t seem to be any relief if Americans are already starting the early voting.
The Democrats have made it clear that they will not take a phased approach until the Trump administration signs a broader plan that they propose for virus testing, tracking and other measures to contain the spread. You scaled back a $ 3 trillion measure to a $ 2.2 trillion proposal. The White House tabled a counter offer of $ 1.6 trillion. Talks were underway when Trump closed them.
“There’s no question that proximity to the elections made this a lot more difficult,” said McConnell.
Associate press writers Bruce Schreiner of Frankfort, Kentucky, and Laurie Kellman and Pamananda Rama of Washington contributed to this report.