Posts tagged with "Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland)"

Democrats unveil bill creating panel to gauge president’s ‘capacity’ to lead

October 11, 2020

On Friday, October 9, House Democrats unveiled legislation that would create a panel tasked with gauging President Donald Trump’s mental and physical fitness to perform his job—and potentially, with removing the POTUS from office in a case of decided debility, The Hill reports.

Indeed, Under Amendment 25, Section IV of the U.S. Constitution, the Congress may remove the president under the following circumstances: “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 of Representatives 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.”

The commission would be permanent, applying to future administrations, but it’s a clear shot at President Trump, whose reaction to his treatments for the coronavirus has raised questions about his mental acuity.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), whom The Hill characterizes as “a sharp critics of the president,” has fueled those questions in the days since Trump returned to the White House after three nights in the hospital. She has floated the idea that Trump’s drug regimen—which includes a steroid linked to mood swings—might be affecting his decision-making.

“The president is, shall we say, in an altered state right now,” the Speaker told Bloomberg News on Thursday.

The Democrats’ legislation invokes the 25th Amendment, which empowers Congress to create “a body” which, working with the vice president, can remove a president deemed “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

Sponsored by Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland), a former professor of constitutional law, the bill would create a 17-member panel charged with judging the president’s fitness —and empowered to remove that figure when deficiencies are determined. In such a case, the vice president would take over.

“This is not about President Trump; he will face the judgment of the voters,” Pelosi told reporters Friday. “But he shows the need for us to create a process for future presidents.”

The proposal has no chance of being enacted, with Congress on recess and the Senate and White House currently controlled by Republicans. Indeed, GOP leaders have already dismissed it as a political stunt. 

But the bill marks another effort by Democratic leaders to energize their base ahead of the November 3 elections, while feeding accusations that Trump—already under fire for his fitful response to the coronavirus pandemic—has become increasingly erratic under treatment for his own case of COVID-19.

Research contact: @thehill

Yea or nay? Pelosi’s equivocation on impeachment splits House Democrats

March 15, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chooses her battles carefully—and she sure knows how to pick her way through a G.O.P. minefield.

In a March 11 interview with The Washington Post Magazine that has since gone viral, Pelosi said that she is “not for [the] impeachment” of President Donald Trump because “it divides the country … And he’s just not worth it.”

However, her statement—which was well-received by the president and his Republican posse during a time of partisan division—only has widened the fissure among House Democrats.

On the one hand, she reaffirmed what many cooler heads in the caucus are saying: That impeachment should be based solely on facts and evidence—not political considerations. And that the evidence of criminal conduct should be so unassailable that it inflames bipartisan censure.

On the other hand, many of the party’s newbies—elected in 2016—think there’s already evidence of malfeasance and it should be acted on immediately.

Thus, Representative Adam Schiff (D-California), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, sided with the Speaker, telling reporters, “A bipartisan process would have to be extra clear and compelling. I think the Speaker is absolutely right. In its absence, an impeachment … becomes a partisan exercise doomed for failure. And I see little to be gained by putting the country through that kind of wrenching experience.”

Conversely, Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland), who has been in office since 2017, told Politico that impeaching the president isn’t about “whether or not the president is worth it. The question is whether the republic is worth it and whether the public interest commands it and whether there are high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Raskin added, “We can’t get so frustrated with Donald Trump that we impeach him just for being Donald Trump, but we can’t get so frustrated with Donald Trump that we don’t impeach him because he’s Donald Trump.”

Politico noted that, while Speaker Pelosi had somewhat distanced herself from taking action on impeachment, she had not ruled it out–leaving it as a very real and possible option, should the committees’ investigations turn up any real dirt.

“I think there’s enough going on in the various committees for impeachment to take care of itself,” House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina) told the political news outlet. “These committees have to build will in the American people for impeachment. Impeachment is a political question. I don’t care what we may feel — if the public isn’t there, we can’t go there. And I think the committee hearings and various things going on are what’s needed in order for the public to get where they need to be.”

Research contact: @sarahnferris