Democrats’ Commission on Presidential Capacity Is ‘All for Show’: Rep. Mark Green

October 9, 2020 Updated: October 11, 2020

Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) said he believes the House Democrats’ attempt to create a congressional body to assess a sitting president’s fitness to serve in office would not get very far.

While speaking to The Epoch Times on Friday, the Tennessee congressman said the proposal was “absolutely insane,” while discounting the idea as another political show.

“Because the 25th Amendment really is executed by the cabinet so it’s really all for show for the most part. [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)] has no authority to direct the cabinet to do anything. And if its law, it requires the Senate,” Green said. “If she keeps this just on the House’s side, it’ll be nothing more than the failed impeachment.”

Earlier on Friday, Pelosi and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) unveiled a legislative proposal to create a commission that would examine President Donald Trump’s or any other president’s fitness for office and possibly invoke the 25th Amendment.

Pelosi said at a press conference that the commission would be permanent and would apply to current and future presidents. However, based on Pelosi’s rhetoric, the proposal appears to be targeted at Trump, who is being treated for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus since his diagnosis last week.

Speaker Pelosi
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Oct. 9, 2020. ( Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Green said the proposition goes against the nation’s founding father’s desire to create separate but equal branches of government, given that the Constitution already affords Congress the power of impeachment in order to hold the executive branch accountable.

The 25th Amendment was proposed by Congress in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and ratified by the states in 1967. It sets out the procedures for replacing the president or vice president or the temporary transfer of power in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation.

“She wants to create some other non-constitutional layer to undo elections,” Green said, adding that the Democrats’ long-standing rancor could lead them to use the commission against Trump.

“They hate Donald Trump too. And they’ll do anything, they’re continuing to, you know, try to undo the last election though. If he wins, though, they’ll certainly try to do everything they can to remove him,” he said.

But he also suggested that the commission could be part of the Democrats’ greater strategy to install Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) to the top position in the event that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the 2020 election.

“They may be plotting to put Kamala Harris in the top spot,” he surmised. “You know, who knows what [Pelosi’s] long game is, but very clearly, the Obama, … a wing of the Democrat Party wanted Kamala Harris, that did not work out.”

“In fact, she bombed. And so when it was clear that there was contention that Bernie Sanders might have a shot, you know, everybody threw him with Joe Biden, despite the fact that there may be some cognitive issues there.”

Biden and Harris
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) arrive to speak at a news conference at Alexis Dupont High School in Wilmington, Del., on Aug. 12, 2020. (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo)

Some House Republicans have already signaled their opposition to the bill. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on “The Mark Levin Show” that the House speaker’s move to propose such a measure less than a month before the presidential election brings into question her own capacity.

“We’re going to get together, find out ways that we can craft something, because it really brings into question her own mental capacity to be speaker of the House. Twenty-seven days before an election, to raise this knowing that she could not pass it, knowing that she’s second in line to the presidency,” McCarthy said.

“This is not somebody who should be serving as the speaker of the House of Representatives. So it’s a question from our own body, should she be removed from that position?”

Other Republicans have dismissed the proposal as a distraction just weeks before the election.

“Look, that’s absurd. Absolutely absurd,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to The Hill on Thursday when Pelosi announced the plan to introduce the bill. “Again, right here in this last three weeks before the election, I think those kinds of wild comments should be largely discounted.”

mitch mconnell
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks to the media after weekly policy luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 21, 2020. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Raskin, a former professor of constitutional law, said the bill would create a 17-member panel charged with judging the president’s fitness, and it would be empowered to remove him if deficiencies are determined. The vice president would then take over in that situation.

The commission would include eight physicians, with each member of House and Senate leaders appointing two, and eight former high-ranking executive branch officials, with Republican and Democratic leaders selecting four each. The final member will be appointed by the 16 members and play the role of the chair.

According to Article 4 of the 25th Amendment, a congressional body created under law, with the support of the vice president, could declare when the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” When that happens, the vice president will assume the role of acting president.

Trump on Friday responded to the House Democrats’ unveiling of the bill, suggesting that the measure’s real purpose is to target Biden.

“Crazy Nancy Pelosi is looking at the 25th Amendment in order to replace Joe Biden with Kamala Harris. The Dems want that to happen fast because Sleepy Joe is out of it!!!” Trump wrote in a Twitter post.

With reporting from Jan Jekielek. Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

Follow Janita on Twitter: @janitakan