From: The Honorable Jamie Raskin
Sent By:

Date: 3/16/2017


CURRENT COSPONSORS: John Conyers, Jr., Barbara Lee, Pramila Jayapal, Jim McGovern, Earl Blumenauer, Lloyd Doggett, Sheila Jackson Lee, Steve Cohen, Darren Soto, Luis Gutierrez, Judy Chu

Closing for Original Cosponsors: COB TODAY

Dear Colleague,

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment empowers Congress to establish a permanent “body” that can declare “that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

It is time for Congress to set up this body.

Congress initiated the 25th Amendment in the wake of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to address the problem of temporary or permanent incapacity of the President.  It was ratified  in 1967.  Other provisions of the Amendment have been
effectively invoked and deployed.  For example, when Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush underwent medical procedures, they transmitted letters to Congress, pursuant to the provisions of Section 3, temporarily delegating presidential authority to their
Vice Presidents.  The wisdom of the 25th Amendment has been repeatedly vindicated by events.

Although other forms of incapacitation have occurred in prior presidencies, Congress has yet to exercise its power under Section 4 to establish the “body” that the Framers of the 25th Amendment envisioned in cases of presidential incapacity not identified
directly by the President himself.

This bill will allow Congress to guarantee the security of the nation and effectiveness of the government when serious concerns have arisen that the President, for whatever reason, is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

To that end, this bill will implement the 25th Amendment by:

  • Creating the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity – a non-partisan commission appointed by congressional leadership composed of 4 physicians, 4 psychiatrists, two elder statespersons (former Presidents, Vice Presidents, Attorneys and Surgeons General,
    and Secretaries of State, Defense, and Treasury), and an 11th member selected by the appointed members to serve as Chair.
  • Setting forth procedures for Congress to consider a concurrent resolution to direct the Commission to examine the President and report its findings to Congress.

Please join us as original cosponsors of this bill, which will be of enduring importance to the security of our nation. If you would like to be an original cosponsor or have any questions, please contact Devon Ombres in my office


Very truly yours,


Jamie Raskin                           Barbara Lee                            John Conyers, Jr.

Member of Congress              Member of Congress              Member of Congress



Jim McGovern                        Pramila Jayapal                       Earl Blumenauer

Member of Congress              Member of Congress              Member of Congress