Update on Congress: A 25th Amendment Commission, COVID Relief, Barrett Hearings | WYPR

Update on Congress: A 25th Amendment Commission, COVID Relief, Barrett Hearings

Oct 12, 2020

Natalie Jennings is editor of The Fix, a live weekly news chat from The Washington Post.
Credit The Washington Post

The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the US Congress, ratified by 38 states, and enacted in 1967, to prepare for a situation in which a sitting U.S. president is no longer capable of performing his or her duties.  It is divided into four sections.  The last section begins: “Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President...”

When President Trump returned to the White House last Monday night after a weekend at Walter Reed Medical Center, it appeared to many that the medications he had been given to treat his infection with the Coronavirus might be affecting his mental status and intellectual capabilities.  In a few rambling, sometimes incoherent interviews, it appeared to some observers that he was not completely in control of his faculties.

On Friday morning, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and MD 8th District Congressman Jamie Raskin announced legislation to create a commission to “help ensure effective and uninterrupted leadership” in the Presidency. 

What would such a commission do?  Why did the Speaker and her caucus see the need to introduce this legislation at this moment?  Natalie Jennings, the editor of The Fix -- a live weekly news chat at the WashingtonPost.com -- joins Tom on Zoom to help us understand the House move on the 25th Amendment Commission bill. She also brings us up to date on the stalled COVID relief bill and the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett.