WASHINGTON — Question:
If the president steps down and the vice president is sworn in, would the Speaker of the House automatically become vice president?
No. The 25th Amendment clearly outlines the process for when ap resident steps down. Section One outlines that the vice president would become president.
However, the new vice president would be nominated by the new president, with approval by the House and Senate.
The Speaker of the House would not be elevated to this position.
25th Amendment, Section I and Section II
Gary Nordlinger, Adjunct Professor at The George Washington University
When it comes to politics, it can be hard to tell what's real and what's just spin.
That's why the Verify team looks into online claims. A new post on social media has been gaining some attention.
"You people realize if Biden wins," the post reads. "And can't finish his term, that Harris becomes President and Pelosi VP."
To fact-check this claim, the Verify Team looked to the 25th Amendment. Let's start with Section I:
Section I: In case of the removal of the president from office or of his death or resignation, the vice president shall become president.
This one sentence confirms the first part of the online post. If Joe Biden were to win the election and then step down, Kamala Harris would become the president.
Meanwhile, Section II outlines the process for selecting a new vice president:
Section II: Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the vice president, the president shall nominate a vice president who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
This section illustrates that the second part of the viral post is false.
The Speaker of the House, while second in the succession order to become president, would not automatically rise to the position of vice president.
Instead, he new vice president would be nominated by the new president, Kamala Harris, and would then need confirmation by both Houses of Congress.
Gary Nordlinger, an adjunct professor at The George Washington University said that we've seen this process play out before.
In 1973, then-Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned. President Richard Nixon then nominated Congressman Gerald Ford to fill the office. Ford was then approved by both the House and the Senate.