South Florida Expert Says 25th Amendment Resolution is More Than Symbolic

House of Representatives Scheduled to Vote Tuesday night

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

It’s been nearly a week since a mob of President Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in what’s being referred to as an insurrection, an attack on democracy, and even a terrorist attack.

As more details are revealed and more videos and personal accounts come to light, the event becomes even more outrageous, and it has left members of Congress from both parties shaken. 

“I think what happened last Wednesday really not only scared but angered the Congress, and they are taking very seriously what happened,” said Nova Southeastern University political science professor Charles Zelden. 

Democrats and a few Republicans blamed President Trump for inciting the mob,  and on Tuesday, the Rules Committee of the House of Representatives discussed a symbolic resolution imploring Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25 Amendment, saying the president is unfit for office.

"In one sense you’re right, this is symbolic and it’s unlikely to happen,” Zelden said. “But it’s more than symbolic in that it’s an active effort to say, 'we need to fix this now.'”

Zelden says the Democrats took up the 25 Amendment strategy to serve as a stepping stone to impeaching the president for a second time. 

“All of us should do some soul searching about five dead Americans, a Capitol police officer who’s dead, dozens of people wounded, lots of our Capitol Hill cops in hospitals, and the country on edge with the inflamed right wing that thinks we’re on the verge of a civil war,” said Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland, during the committee meeting as he argued for the resolution. 

“We should call this resolution what it is,” responded Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, in response. “A transparent attempt to pressure the Vice President into performing a duty he does not believe is necessary at this time.”

“If we want to talk about healing we also need to deal with the issue of accountability,” said Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts. 

If Pence did invoke the 25th Amendment, the majority of the president’s Cabinet would still have to agree to remove Trump from office, so it’s highly unlikely to happen. Three Cabinet members have resigned since the Capitol riot happened.

“I think they definitely decided we don’t want to be put in this position, this is a way to get off the train,” Zelden said. 

The House of Representatives will vote on the 25 Amendment resolution Tuesday night, and take up impeachment on Wednesday. 

Contact Us