President Trump has officially derailed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s negotiation process for the second coronavirus stimulus bill, and she has made her displeasure known. Given President Trump’s coronavirus contraction, Pelosi plans to meet with lawmakers to discuss the 25th amendment.
From Capitol Hill, Pelosi said in response to the second stimulus package, “Tomorrow, by the way, tomorrow, come here tomorrow. We’re going to be talking about the 25th Amendment. But not to take attention away from the subject we have now.”
The 25th amendment gives the power to the vice president, members of his Cabinet, or “such other body as Congress” to determine if the president is capable to fulfill his duties. Pelosi is using the coronavirus as the pretense for the argument. She said, “I’m not talking about it today except to tell you, if you want to talk about that, we’ll see you tomorrow. But you take me back to my point, Mr. President, when was the last time you had a negative test before you tested positive? Why is the White House not telling the country that important fact about how this made a hotspot of the White House?”
Pelosi is also introducing legislation from Representative Jamie Raskin that would create a commission to decide if a president is fit to serve. The legislation was first introduced in 2017, and had the purpose to form an Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity. The group would choose physicians, psychiatrists, and retired public officials.
Why this matters: This is a dangerous game Pelosi is playing. Setting up the precedent for a party to determine if the president should be allowed to serve takes power away from the people. Trump has given multiple video messages to Americans about his health. Pelosi is obviously responding to the coronavirus aid package talks, and is using her power to take away the power from Trump. But just like the removal of the nuclear option by th Democrats when they had the majority in the Senate, if Republicans in the future have the House, they can use the same party trick for their own political advantages.