Dems move bill seeking removal of Trump’s powers on medical grounds
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced a legislation on Friday to launch the Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office under US Constitution’s 25th amendmentUpdated: Oct 09, 2020, 22:04 IST
President Donald Trump plans to return to the campaign trail with a flurry of online and in-person events, including a rally in Florida on Saturday, even as Congressional Democrats introduced a bill providing for the removal of the president’s powers on medical grounds, starting with the next term.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced a legislation on Friday to set up the ‘Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office’ under US Constitution’s 25th amendment, which allows for the transfer of presidential powers to the vice-president in case of president’s death, removal, resignation or incapacitation. “This is not about President Donald Trump — he will face the judgment of the voters,” Pelosi said at a press conference at the Capitol.
Trump hit back in a tweet, saying Pelosi is the one that needed to be put under observation.
The president will start his return to campaigning with a “radio rally” on Friday on syndicated radio-host Rush Limbaugh’s show and then do his first on-camera interview since catching Covid-19 with Fox News, during which he will undergo a “medical evaluation” by the show’s medical contributor.
Sean Conley, Trump’s physician, has cleared him for “safe return to public engagements” on Saturday, the 10th day after the president was diagnosed for Covid-19, saying Trump has “responded extremely well to treatment”. But the doctor has admitted before to projecting an “upbeat” picture of the president’s health.
Citing the update from the doctor, Trump’s campaign asked the Commission on Presidential Debates to revert to in-person format for the second debate that is scheduled for October 15, which the body had declared would be held virtually. Trump had rejected the change on Thursday, demanding a delay in-person debates.
Joe Biden, his Democratic challenger, had agreed to a virtual debate and also to a delayed in-person second debate. But has rejected Trump campaign’s demand for two delayed in-person debates, second of which was proposed for October 29, just four days short of November 3, Election Day.
Trump, who is trailing Biden in opinion polls by a widening margin. Hampered by illness, he needs the debates to try and shore up his race. Biden has been accommodating, but made it clear he won’t be pushed around.
President Trump has not been seen in public since his return to the White House on Monday, but he has shot and released video messages about his health, downplaying the severity of the epidemic while claiming he may be immune to the virus. He has also done phone interviews with Fox News anchors.
(With inputs from Agencies)