Pelosi To Propose Panel To Assess Trump’s Fitness For Duty

“We’re going to be talking about the 25th Amendment,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, previewing legislation she plans to introduce that would create a commission to evaluate President Donald Trump’s health and ability to serve as president.

In 25th Amendment Bid, Pelosi Mulls Trump’s Fitness To Serve

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is questioning President Donald Trump’s fitness to serve, announcing legislation Thursday that would create a commission to allow Congress to intervene under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and remove the president from executive duties. Just weeks before the Nov. 3 election, Pelosi said Trump needs to disclose more about his health after his COVID-19 diagnosis. She noted Trump’s “strange tweet” halting talks on a new coronavirus aid package — he subsequently tried to reverse course — and said Americans need to know when, exactly, he first contracted COVID as others in the White House became infected. On Friday, she plans to roll out the legislation that would launch the commission for review. (Mascaro, 10/8)

The Washington Post:
Citing 25th Amendment, Pelosi, Raskin Move To Create Panel That Could Rule On President’s Fitness For Office 

The panel would be called the Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office, “the body and process called for in the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” the offices of Pelosi and Raskin said in a statement announcing the move. The 25th Amendment formalizes that the vice president takes over the duties of the presidency in the event of a president’s death, inability to perform his duties or resignation from office. It also lays out a process by which a sitting president may be removed from office. Congress’s role in this, however, is limited.(Sonmez, 10/8)

Work on a COVID-relief bill drags on —

Pelosi Signals No Relief For Airlines Without Bigger Covid Deal

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is refusing to move a standalone coronavirus bailout for airlines unless the administration also agrees to a broader stimulus package, sowing further confusion in the already tangled talks that have dragged on since early summer. “I have been very open to having a single standalone bill for the airlines or part of a bigger bill. But there is no standalone bill without a bigger bill,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday at her weekly news conference. (Caygle, Ferris and Mintz, 10/8)

The Washington Post:
White House, Congress Continue Pressing On Economic Relief Package But Pelosi Bristles Over Trump Approach 

The White House sent mixed signals Thursday about the direction of renewed stimulus talks, resulting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confronting Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over who speaks for the president. The developments occurred two days after President Trump ordered Mnuchin to stop negotiating with Pelosi, only to announce Thursday that talks were back on. Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Democrats were still ready to deal. (Werner and Stein, 10/8)

In other news from Capitol Hill —

The Hill:
Harrison Calls On Graham To Take A COVID-19 Test Before Debate 

South Carolina Senate candidate Jaime Harrison called on Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to take a COVID-19 test before their debate on Friday. Harrison, the Democratic candidate, tweeted on Thursday that he and the debate moderators committed to taking a coronavirus test before the debate, adding that his test is scheduled. (Coleman, 10/8)

The Hill:
Texas Dems Highlight Health Care In Fight To Flip State House 

Texas Democrats are making health care the heart of their final pitch as they look to flip the state House, which Republicans have held since 2002. In a “contract with Texas” that Democrats are rolling out Thursday and which was shared first with The Hill, the party is touting policies it would try to enact should it flip the net nine seats it needs to gain control of the chamber. The central pillar of the plan is expanding Medicaid in Texas, which has the highest number and rate of uninsured people in the nation, as well as boosting coverage for children and making care for women more equal. (Axelrod, 10/8)

Roll Call:
McConnell Keeps Distance From White House, Citing Doubts About COVID-19 Protocols

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday he has actively avoided the White House since early August over concerns the Trump administration is not taking enough precautions against COVID-19. Speaking in his home state of Kentucky, McConnell said he speaks frequently with President Donald Trump on the phone, but has opted out of visiting the White House since his last trip there on Aug. 6. (Tully-McManus, 10/8)

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