When asked by Congress to invoke the 25th Amendment, Vice President Mike Pence said no. Instead of going along and declaring President Donald Trump unfit for the job, Pence borrowed words from Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (Ca) in turning her down.
‘Science and Facts’
Pence sent his reply after House Democrats issued a resolution asking the Vice President to invoke the 25th Amendment. While Pence said no, he used Pelosi’s own words to reply. In fact, he wrote that determining the President’s fitness needed “science and facts” as a basis. He reproached the idea that declaring the President unfit shouldn’t depend on “a comment or behavior that we don’t like.”
Even as Pence said no, he also asked the House Speaker to continue with the leadership they displayed. He lauded the Speaker in the way they reconvened Congress immediately after the Capitol Hill attacks. He noted that Congress’ action showed Americans that unity remains possible in Congress.
‘I Did Not Yield’
Pence also wrote about not yielding to pressure during the Electoral College counting. He stayed within the limits of his constitutional authority. He promised to show the same restraint. As such, he will refuse “to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation.”
In addition, the Vice President urged Pelosi and the rest of Congress to avoid further inflaming the present condition. Then, he ended his letter by pledging to continue ensuring an orderly transition for the incoming President, Joe Biden.
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Full Text of the Vice President’s Letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Here is the full text of Vice President Mike Pence’s letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. This is his reply to the House’s call for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment.
Dear Madam Speaker,
Every American was shocked and saddened by the attack on our Nation’s Capitol last week, and I am grateful for the leadership that you and other congressional leaders provided in reconvening Congress to complete the people’s business on the very same day. It was a moment that demonstrated to the American people the unity that is still possible in Congress when it is needed most.
But now, with just eight days left in the President’s term, you and the Democratic Caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment. I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution. Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation.
As you know full well, the 25th Amendment was designed to address Presidential incapacity or disability. Just a few months ago, when you introduced legislation to create the 25th Amendment
Commission, you said, “ [a] President’s fitness for office must be determined by science and facts.” You said then that we must be “[v]ery respectful of not making a judgment on the basis of a comment or behavior that we don’t like, but based on a medical decision.” Madam Speaker, you were right. Under our Constitution, the 25th Amendment is not a means of punishment or usurpation. Invoking the 25th Amendment in such a manner would set a terrible precedent.
After the horrific events of this last week, our Administration’s energy is directed to ensuring an orderly transition. The Bible says that “for everything, there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven …a time to heal … and a time to build up.” That time is now. In the midst of a global pandemic, economic hardship for millions of Americans, and the tragic events of January 6th, now is the time for us to come together, now is the time to heal.
I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment. Work with us to lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. I pledge to you that I will continue to do my part to work in good faith with the incoming administration to ensure an orderly transition of power. So help me God.
Michael R. Pence
View the Bloomberg Quicktake video reporting on VP Pence writing a letter to Speaker Pelosi where he said he won’t invoke 25th Amendment:
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