Tillis calls on Cabinet to invoke 25th Amendment after ‘painful’ Biden debate

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) called on President Biden’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to potentially remove him from office after Thursday’s debate performance that included a number of halting answers and raised concerns on both sides of the aisle just months ahead of Election Day.

Tillis, a member of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) leadership team, wrote in a letter to the Senate GOP conference that Thursday’s meeting between Biden and former President Trump makes the “discussion” about the president’s ability to serve “a necessity.” He added that if Biden does not step aside on his own, the Cabinet should take matters into their own hands.

“If Biden cannot speak coherently, articulate his policies, and is unfit to perform after weeks of preparation, how will he perform when America is truly tested by a national security crisis, the kind of historic, high-stakes test his predecessors have been confronted with?” Tillis wrote in the letter, which was sent to members Friday.

“I believe Biden is a decent man who cares about the country,” he continued. “However, time catches up with everyone, and it’s clear his decline is more dire than people realized and the White House has not been as truthful nor transparent as it should have been.”

The North Carolina Republican added, “Biden is unfit to continue serving as leader of the free world. While he is already well on track to lose the election in November, a lot can still go wrong between now and January 20, 2025.”

The senator argued that Biden should step aside “for the sake of the country.”

“If he is unaware of his own unfitness to continue serving, the Biden cabinet should consider invoking the 25th Amendment, in which the cabinet can vote to transfer powers and authorities from the President to the Vice President,” he wrote.

Along with being part of the GOP leadership team, Tillis is also widely considered one of the most bipartisan members in the Republican conference and has been involved in a number of key talks throughout Biden’s term in office.

Tillis is also the first in the upper chamber to issue such a call after the debate. Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Friday told reporters that the Cabinet should consider the 25th Amendment option but did not go as far as Tillis.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) added that he would file a resolution calling on Vice President Harris and the Cabinet to declare Biden incapable of fulfilling his presidential duties.

Unsurprisingly, Biden’s campaign showed no signs of slowing down Friday as he appeared at a rally in North Carolina and referenced the fact that he has slowed in recent years.

“Folks, I don’t walk as easy as I used to. I don’t speak as smoothly as I used to. I don’t debate as well as I used to,” Biden said at a rally in Raleigh. “But I know what I do know. I know how to tell the truth. I know right from wrong. And I know how to do this job. I know how to get things done. And I know what millions of Americans know: When you get knocked down, you get back up.”

Tillis added to The Hill that the rally did nothing to assuage his fears and that the debate was more indicative of who he believes the president is right now, raising fears of how he could deal with an “existential threat in the Situation Room.”

“It was painful, and I truly feel bad for President Biden,” he wrote. “Cognitive and physical decline is a normal part of the aging process for many people.”

“But displaying that decline in front of hundreds of millions of Americans is most certainly not normal,” the senator added. “Especially when your day job is serving as the nation’s commander-in-chief.”

According to the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, the vice president and a majority of Cabinet members can vote to declare a commander in chief “unable to discharge the powers and the duties of his office” and hand the duties of the president to the vice president.

A dispute by the president about his capacity to fulfill the duties of the office would send the question to Congress. Lawmakers could decide to give the vice president the powers of the presidency via a two-thirds vote of both the Senate and House.

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