Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, said that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-California, was “unfit for office” after the speaker announced that House Democrats were introducing legislation that would create a commission that would give Congress the power to assess whether the president is capable of carrying out his or her duties.
“Pelosi and Washington socialists are still trying to overthrow President Trump,” Brooks said. “Their first coup, impeachment, failed. Now, Pelosi is unconstitutionally attempting another coup. Pelosi is unfit for office. She should be removed as House speaker immediately. Her lawlessness is a serious threat to our republic.”
The proposed law would not give Congress the power to “overthrow” a president. Instead, it would create a commission in line with the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides Congress the authority to set out processes to determine whether the president is capable.
The amendment, ratified after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, lays out the presidential line of succession, but it also says a vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can declare that a president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
The same amendment gives Congress the power to appoint a group in place of the Cabinet to make the same declaration, though Congress has never outlined or created such a body and that part of the 25th Amendment has gone unused. The created commission would take over the power of the cabinet, and Congress would not be able alone to invoke the 25th Amendment.
The vice president would still need to sign on before the president could be declared incapable. The president could also declare himself capable and retake power unless the commission, vice president and two-thirds of both the House and Senate agreed he’s unable.
The commission wouldn’t have unilateral power.
President Donald Trump has recently recovered from COVID-19. Pelosi has suggested that the president is in an “altered state of mind” due to the treatments he is taking for the virus.
“The public needs to know the health condition of the President,” Pelosi said. “When was his last negative test to make a judgement about the actions that we take after that. Come here tomorrow, we will be talking about the 25th Amendment.”
Pelosi claimed on Friday that her legislation is not just about Trump.
“This is not about President Trump,” Pelosi said. “He will face the judgement of the voters. But he shows the need for us to create a process for future presidents.”
Trump responded on Twitter, “Crazy Nancy Pelosi is looking at the 25th Amendment in order to replace Joe Biden with Kamala Harris,” Trump tweeted. “The Dems want that to happen fast because Sleepy Joe is out of it!!!”
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland.
“In times of chaos, we must hold fast to our Constitution,” Raskin said. “The 25th amendment is all about the stability of the presidency and the continuity of the office.”
Brooks represents Alabama’s 5th Congressional District. He faces no Democratic challenger in the Nov. 3 general election.