How U.S. Vice President Mike Pence Could Temporarily Take Control If Donald Trump Is Incapacitated


Vice President Mike Pence would become the incumbent president, although Trump would remain in office.

Like two US presidents before him, Donald Trump could temporarily hand over power to his vice president if he were incapacitated, for example during a medical procedure to treat the coronavirus.

Trump said Friday that he tested positive for COVID-19 and would go into quarantine to begin the recovery process immediately.

Under Section 3 of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, passed in 1967 following the assassination of President John Kennedy in 1963, Trump was able to declare in writing his inability to perform his duties.

Vice President Mike Pence would become the incumbent president, although Trump would remain in office. The President would regain his powers by declaring in writing that he is again ready to fire her.

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment also provides a way to remove power from a president if, for example, his cabinet believes he has been incapacitated, but this has never been invoked.


– On July 13, 1985, President Ronald Reagan decided to have a precancerous lesion removed after it was discovered during a colonoscopy. He signed a letter in which, although he did not specifically refer to Section 3, he was aware of its provisions. Vice President George H.W. Bush had been acting president for nearly eight hours, from 11:28 a.m. to 7:22 p.m., when Reagan released a letter saying he could resume his duties.

– On June 29, 2002, President George W. Bush invoked Section 3 and temporarily delegated his powers to Vice President Dick Cheney before undergoing a colonoscopy. Cheney was acting president from 7:09 a.m. to 9:24 a.m.

– On July 21, 2007, Bush relied on Section 3 before another colonoscopy. Cheney was acting president from 7:16 am to 9:21 am.


Section 4 provides that the Vice President and a majority of Cabinet officials or “any other body provided by Congress” may inform leaders in both Houses of Congress that the President “is unable to perform the powers and duties of his office “.

In such a case, the vice-president takes over the office of incumbent president. The president resumes office after telling the same two members of Congress “there is no incapacity” unless the cabinet officials or some other body explain otherwise. Congress must then meet within 48 hours to decide the issue.

If two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate vote in their respective chambers that the president cannot fulfill the official duties, the vice president remains incumbent president until the next white person decides after the next scheduled presidential election. Otherwise the president will resume his office.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)


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