". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


‘Incapable’: Congressman Introduces Bill to Remove Biden from Office Under 25th Amendment

July 2, 2024

While Democrats have responded to Joe Biden’s disastrous debate performance by discussing the future of their party, Republicans have focused on how the president’s cognitive decline threatens their country. Now, a conservative member of Congress has introduced a bill to initiate the constitutional process to remove Joe Biden as unfit for office.

The day after the debate, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) introduced a bill, H.R. 1336, “[c]alling on Vice President Kamala D. Harris to convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive departments of the Cabinet to activate section 4 of the 25th Amendment to declare President Joseph R. Biden incapable of executing the duties of his office and to immediately exercise powers as Acting President.”

Under section 3 of the 25th Amendment, the president himself can certify he is unable to carry out the duties of office, and the vice president will assume his powers as Acting President, until such time as he certifies that he can execute those functions again. But Biden has defied calls to loosen his grip on the office he first sought 36 years ago.

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment handles presidents who cannot, or will not, step aside. Under its terms, the vice president and either “a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide” can notify the chief congressional leaders that the president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” The vice president then becomes Acting President.

If the sidelined president insists he can perform his duties, Congress can declare him unfit by a two-thirds supermajority vote.

Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) told “Washington Watch” the length that the constitutional process might require, and the high threshold of requiring a two-thirds vote in Congress, could prove prohibitive four months before the election.

“I hope he doesn’t drop out,” Norman told guest host and former congressman Jody Hice the day after the debate “I want to run against Joe Biden.”

Yet much of the debate fallout has focused only on how it affects the Democrats’ electoral fortunes, not the impact of having someone potentially incapable of serving in office. “It seems as though the mantra coming is we need a different presidential candidate so that we can win and continue pushing our agenda,” said Hice.

While Democratic elected officials have kept mum publicly, their private reaction has been described as a panicked freakout. “I heard from a Democratic lawmaker, a member of Congress, who has been a strong supporter of President Biden’s who suggested the possibility of perhaps an open convention or replacing President Biden on the ticket,” MSNBC’s Katy Tur reported Thursday night. Jake Sherman of Punchbowl News confirmed Friday afternoon that Democratic politicians told him they hoped someone would pressure Biden to step off the ticket, but none were willing to do so on the record — yet.

Former Obama-Biden administration Green Jobs Czar Van Jones, now an analyst on CNN, declared, “There’s time for this party to figure out a different way forward.”

As part of MSNBC’s post-debate analysis, Jen Psaki asked, “Can [Biden] still be replaced?” Her colleague, Joy Reid, revealed that anonymous “campaign people,” “Democratic operatives,” and “Obama or administration” sources told her Biden looked “extremely feeble” and “extremely weak.”

“The universal reaction was somewhere near panic,” said Reid. Joe Biden may believe he can wage the campaign necessary to defeat Trump this November, but “after tonight, his party doesn’t believe that.” 

Numerous media outlets have attempted to exhort and cajole Biden into voluntarily removing himself from the 2024 presidential race:

To Serve His Country, President Biden Should Leave the Race,” said the editorial board of The New York Times.

President Biden, be like LBJ, whose choice to bow out was hugely popular,” said The Washington Post.

Trump is too dangerous for Democrats to stick with Biden,” wrote Ramesh Ponnuru, an editor at National Review.

It’s time for Biden to pass the torch,” said the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Joe Biden should now give way to an alternative candidate,” said The Economist.

Numerous legacy media outlets have outlined how the Democrats’ internal replacement process would work, including the Associated Press, The New York Times, NBC News, Time magazine, and The Conversation. Others — including The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Vox, Forbes, the U.K. Guardian, and The Week — produced lists of potential replacement candidates for Biden.

“The Democrats want to keep power. They figure the only way they can do that is get another candidate,” said Norman.

Nearly half (45%) of Democrats want Joe Biden to step down as their party’s nominee, according to a CBS News/YouGov poll released Sunday. The same poll found 72% of all Americans say Biden does not have “the mental [and] cognitive health to serve as president.”

“Joe Biden is not up to the job,” Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in “This Week on the Hill” Saturday. “He looked weak. He looked frail. He was clearly dishonest.”

Yet all indications are that Biden plans to fight tenaciously for the right to remain his party’s nominee. Biden campaign spokesperson Seth Schuster rebuffed the notion Thursday night, saying, “Of course he’s not dropping out.” Biden conferred Sunday at Camp David with family, who urged him to stay in the race. Hunter Biden, who has reportedly made millions of dollars selling access to his powerful father, fervently urged his father not to drop out.

“Joe Biden is not going to take himself out of this race — nor should he,” said Maryland Governor Wes Moore (D) Sunday. The rising star added he “will not” seek the nomination himself this year. California Governor Gavin Newsom (D), who visited the White House in July 2022 while Biden was away, said, “We aren’t going to turn our backs because of one performance.” 

“Joe Biden won the debate,” Newsom averred.

If Biden leaves the race, it could prove a financial disaster for Democrats, just as President Donald Trump has begun to catch up in the fundraising game. The Biden for President campaign committee had $91.5 million cash on hand as of May 31. The campaign cannot transfer that amount to any other candidate except Vice President Kamala Harris, who has lower approval ratings than Biden. It could convert the campaign into an independent super PAC, but that entity could not legally coordinate expenditures with the new campaign and would have to pay higher advertising rates. Or the Biden campaign could return the funds to donors and hope they fund the new candidate, quickly.

“It’s going to be very, very difficult to get Joe Biden off of the ballot,” Rep. Eric Burlison (R-Mo.) told Hice on Monday’s show. The campaign’s war chest is “not transferable. It can only be used on the Biden-Harris campaign. So, I don’t know that that they have an option to be able to back out of this.”

Phill Kline, the former attorney general of Kansas and associate professor of law at Liberty University, told Hice he felt more inclined to believe “there are many leftist partisan nonprofits that could accept these monies and impact the election.”

But the country may suffer most of all, if hostile powers believe the president is incapable of responding to an attack. “These are the most dangerous months, potentially in the United States, where we have someone who apparently is only cognitively alert for a few hours in the day,” Burlison said. “That’s not good for America and our security.” “The media and his handlers have been hiding this and covering this up for months and months and months.”

America must consider the constitutional relief available to protect America from unfit rulers, said Hice. “We have our country at stake,” said Hice.

Rep. Chip Roy’s act reads in full:

“Whereas President Joseph R. Biden has repeatedly and publicly demonstrated his inability to discharge the powers and duties of the Presidency, including, among others, the powers and duties of the Commander-in-Chief: Now, therefore, be it

“Resolved, That the House of Representatives calls upon Vice President Kamala D. Harris—

“(1) to immediately use her powers under section 4 of the 25th Amendment to convene and mobilize the principal officers of the executive departments in the Cabinet to declare that President Joseph R. Biden is unable to discharge the duties and powers of the office; and

“(2) to transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives notice that she will be immediately assuming the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

As of this writing, Roy’s bill has only one co-sponsor: Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.). The bill has been referred to the

House Judiciary Committee for further action.

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.