"We are reminded of the necessity of action by the health of the current president"
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Jamie Raskin on Friday introduced legislation to reinforce the 25th Amendment. The bill, were it to become law, would create a commission of 16 medical experts and/or former executive branch officials, like cabinet members. A 17th member, a chairperson would be charged with determining if a president if incapacitated or in some other way unable to perform the functions of the presidency.
Pelosi and Raskin were both careful to note this commission is forward-looking and would not exist before the November election.
"There's never really a good time" to create the commission, Raskin, a Democrat of Maryland said. "In the age of COVID-19, we need to act."
"I wish that Congress had set up this permanent body years ago. It did not do it, but we do need to do this certainly in the new Congress," he added, meaning next year.
"People want to know. We have to give comfort to people that there is a way to do this," Pelosi told reporters.
President Trump "will face the judgment of the voters, but he shows the need for us to create a process for future presidents,” she warned. "This legislation applies to future presidents, but we are reminded of the necessity of action by the health of the current president."
The commission would be bipartisan, with eight members chosen by Democrats and eight chosen by Republicans. The chair would be chosen by a majority of the members themselves.