Members of Congress from the Philadelphia region joined a growing Democratic chorus Thursday urging President Donald Trump’s cabinet and Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from power.
If that long-shot effort doesn’t gain traction, many of them said they would support impeaching Trump a second time before he leaves office on Jan. 20. That step, too, would be extremely difficult to achieve, politically and logistically, with such little time to act.
“President Trump is a threat to our domestic and national security. It is self-evident that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) said in a statement. He urged Pence to invoke the amendment, which allows a majority of the cabinet and the vice president to strip a president’s power when he is deemed unable or unfit to serve. Casey called it “the quickest way to protect our domestic and national security.”
His call, and those of many other Democrats in the region, came after Congress’ top two Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, urged using the amendment to strip Trump’s power in the final days of his presidency. Under the amendment, which has never been invoked, Pence would assume the powers of the presidency.
Every Pennsylvania Democrat representing Philadelphia and its collar counties — including Reps. Dwight Evans, Brendan Boyle, Madeleine Dean, Chrissy Houlahan, and Mary Gay Scanlon — said they supported reining in Trump’s power via the 25th Amendment.
The amendment can be invoked if the vice president and a majority of the cabinet vote that the president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties” of the office. Yet that requirement, and history, means it faces steep odds of happening.
The offices of the region’s Republican members of Congress — Sen. Pat Toomey and Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick and Jeff Van Drew — did not respond to requests for comment.
Here is what local officials said of the push: