path: Home / Queries on Government
- U.S. Code: TITLE 3 > CHAPTER 1 > Sec. 19. - Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act
- If, by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, there is neither a President nor Vice President to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President, then the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, upon his resignation as Speaker and as Representative in Congress, act as President.
- The same rule shall apply in the case of the death, resignation, removal from office, or inability of an individual acting as President under this subsection.
- If, at the time when under subsection (a) of this section a Speaker is to begin the discharge of the powers and duties of the office of President, there is no Speaker, or the Speaker fails to qualify as Acting President, then the President pro tempore of the Senate shall, upon his resignation as President pro tempore and as Senator, act as President.
- An individual acting as President under subsection (a) or subsection (b) of this section shall continue to act until the expiration of the then current Presidential term, except that
- if his discharge of the powers and duties of the office is founded in whole or in part on the failure of both the President-elect and the Vice-President-elect to qualify, then he shall act only until a President or Vice President qualifies; and
- if his discharge of the powers and duties of the office is founded in whole or in part on the inability of the President or Vice President, then he shall act only until the removal of the disability of one of such individuals.
- If, by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, there is no President pro tempore to act as President under subsection (b) of this section, then the officer of the United States who is highest on the following list, and who is not under disability to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President shall act as President: Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
- An individual acting as President under this subsection shall continue so to do until the expiration of the then current Presidential term, but not after a qualified and prior-entitled individual is able to act, except that the removal of the disability of an individual higher on the list contained in paragraph (1) of this subsection or the ability to qualify on the part of an individual higher on such list shall not terminate his service.
- The taking of the oath of office by an individual specified in the list in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be held to constitute his resignation from the office by virtue of the holding of which he qualifies to act as President.
- Subsections (a), (b), and (d) of this section shall apply only to such officers as are eligible to the office of President under the Constitution. Subsection (d) of this section shall apply only to officers appointed, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, prior to the time of the death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, of the President pro tempore, and only to officers not under impeachment by the House of Representatives at the time the powers and duties of the office of President devolve upon them.
- During the period that any individual acts as President under this section, his compensation shall be at the rate then provided by law in the case of the President
- Order of Presidential Succession
- Jason Chappel quotes from www.infoplease.com:
- "In the Presidential Succession Act of 1792, the president pro tempore was next in line after the vice president to succeed to the presidency. Truman's 1947 proposal reversed this order, putting the Speaker of the House ahead of the president pro tempore.
"In 1886 Congress changed the order of presidential succession, replacing the president pro tempore and the Speaker of the House with the cabinet officers. Proponents of this change argued that the congressional leaders lacked executive experience, and none had served as president, while six former secretaries of state had been elected to that office.
"The cabinet members are ordered in the line of succession according to the date their offices were established.
"Prior to the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified on Feb.10, 1967, there was no provision for filling a vacancy in the vice presidency. When a president died in office, the vice president succeeded him. The vice presidency then remained vacant."
"NOTE: An official cannot succeed to the Presidency unless that person meets the Constitutional requirements."
"Here," she writes, is "how it currently applies to the Bartlet Administration:"
The link also says in a note on the above:
- The Vice President John Hoynes
- Speaker of the House
- President pro tempore of the Senate1
- Secretary of State
- Secretary of the Treasury Secretary Kenneth Kato
- Secretary of Defense
- Attorney General Dan Larsen
- Secretary of the Interior
- Secretary of Agriculture Roger Tribbey
- Secretary of Commerce
- Secretary of Labor
- Secretary of Health and Human Services
- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Deborah O'Leary
- Secretary of Transportation
- Secretary of Energy Bill Trotter
- Secretary of Education
- Secretary of Veterans Affairs
1 The president pro tempore presides over the Senate when the vice president is absent. By tradition the position is held by the senior member of the majority party." She sent us the following link to this information which has a current list of the offices and the people who fill them in the current Congress/Administration: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0101032.html
- Who was Mollie Orshansky?
- Wayland Chang sent us a link to more information about Mollie Orshansky from the social security administration site which has a page devoted to her at http://www.ssa.gov/history/orshansky.html which says, "The contributions made by Miss Orshansky to the statistical measurement of the low income population, and its causal effects of Federal programs on that population have earned her the affectionate moniker, 'Miss Poverty.'"
- So what does it mean to accept a censure from the Congress?
- Maureen Collins answered a question about what censure was on a forum. When we asked her for some additional information, she sent us to the website at Cornell Law School which says:
"'Each House may . . . punish its members for disorderly behavior. . .' --U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 2
What is "Censure?"
"Although ill-defined, censure is a process of Congressional reprimand--the political equivalent of a strongly-worded letter. In 1834, a Whig Senate 'censured' Democratic President Andrew Jackson in retaliation for his withholding documents. Three years later, a Democratic Senate 'expunged' the censure from the record. However, that act of censure had no basis in either the Constitution or the Rules of the House and Senate. This remains true today. Ordinarily, Congressional disapproval of the President is relayed either through its legislative power including the veto override power or through impeachment.
"Presumably, censure of the President would take the form of a resolution adopted by both the House and Senate and then publicly announced. Legally, the resolution would have no effect. Censure derives from the formal condemnation by either the House or the Senate in rebuke of a Member of their own body. After a majority vote, the Member is publicly denounced, but still retains the position of Representative or Senator. However, the House removes the offending Member from any leadership positions in committees or sub-committees."
Maureen Collins also sent us to The Association of the Bar of the City of New York which referred to the first time Congress had tried to censure an executive branch official:
"Congress first considered adopting a condemnatory resolution against executive branch officials during the administration of George Washington. Alexander Hamilton, Washington's Secretary of the Treasury, had become the focal point in a partisan battle over creation of a national bank. To discredit Hamilton, Representative William Branch Giles introduced nine resolutions in 1793 to condemn Hamilton's alleged improper handling of two congressionally authorized loans. The moneys from the loans, one to pay a foreign debt, the second to pay for domestic operations, were commingled by Hamilton despite Congresss instruction that they be kept separate. Although ultimately defeated, the proposed resolutions to censure Hamilton established a precedent."
- Did the U.S. Government spend money to produce a pen that would write in zero gravity?
Seems this is an urban legend.
- Bill Smollen emailed us in depth information saying, "Paul Fisher developed the space pen on his own; i.e. his own private money/ investment. He not only did not charge NASA for that, but he even ate the shipping charges on the pens he sent for our astronauts."
His information was supported by a link to
"Urban Legends: The Write Stuff" which says, "Sightings: This legend was mentioned in an episode of NBC's The WestWing ("We Killed Yamamoto"; original air date 15 May 2002)."
This link was posted at both:
SiteMap | About Us | Home