Speaker Johnson: Cabinet should consider removing Biden through 25th Amendment

Speaker Johnson: Cabinet should consider removing Biden through 25th Amendment

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said Friday that members of President Biden’s Cabinet should consider using the 25th Amendment to remove him from office in light of his weak debate performance Thursday night.

“There’s a lot of people asking about the 25th Amendment, invoking the 25th Amendment right now because this is an alarming situation,” Johnson said. “Our adversaries see the weakness in this White House as we all do. I take no pleasure in saying that. I think this is a very dangerous situation.”

“I would ask the Cabinet members to search their hearts,” Johnson continued, mentioning reports that Democrats are “panicking” after Biden’s debate performance. “I would be panicking too if I were a Democrat today and that was my nominee. I think they know they have a serious problem.”

“But it’s not just political. It’s not just the Democratic Party. It’s the entire country. We have a serious problem here, because we have a president who, by all appearances, is not up to the task,” Johnson said. “And these are very dangerous times. This is a very serious moment in American history. And it needs to be regarded and handled as such. And we hope that they will do their duty, as we all seek to do our duty to do best for the American people.”

Thursday night saw Biden give a halting and hesitant performance and struggle to answer some questions. It prompted alarm among Democrats and even calls for Biden to remove himself from the presidential ticket.

Newsom: Democratic talk of replacing Biden ‘unhelpful and unnecessary’

The 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which governs presidential succession, says that the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet may vote to declare a president “unable to discharge the powers and the duties of his office” and give the vice president the duties of acting president.

A dispute from the president about his capacity to perform the job would send the question to Congress, which could then decide to give the vice president the powers of acting president by a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate.

Never before have the vice president and the Cabinet declared a president incapable of serving in office.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) earlier on Friday said that he would file a resolution asking Vice President Harris to convene the Cabinet and declare Biden unable of carrying out the duties of his office. Roy said that as a Congress resolution, though, it would not have the full force of law.

Johnson said regarding Roy’s resolution that Congress cannot take the first step.

“Unfortunately, it’s not the House that gets to determine that, it’s the Cabinet under the Constitution, of course, it’s the Cabinet that makes that decision,” Johnson said.

And Harris defended Biden following the debate, suggesting she would not support such a move — though she acknowledged a “slow start” for Biden.

“If I were in the Cabinet, or in the Biden Administration right now in the Cabinet, I would. I would be having that discussion with my colleagues at the Cabinet level,” Johnson said. “And I think many of them in their heart of hearts, they understand exactly what we do. They see exactly what we do. And we’ll see what action they take. It’s a serious situation.”

White House, Biden campaign slam replacement chatter after debate

Biden’s debate performance has also prompted talk of asking him to drop out of the 2024 presidential race and be replaced at the top of the ticket. A Biden campaign spokesperson shot down that idea, saying, “Of course he’s not dropping out.”

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