What Is the 25th Amendment? Everything Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi Have Said About VP Succession

During a press conference on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested that there will be an event on Friday to discuss the 25th Amendment as concerns over President Donald Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis continue.

While speaking about Trump and his COVID-19 infection, Pelosi said, "Tomorrow, by the way, tomorrow, come here tomorrow. We're going to be talking about the 25th Amendment, but not to take attention away from the subject we have now."

Following her comments, Pelosi was asked to further clarify what she meant by discussing the 25th Amendment.

"I'm not talking about it today except to tell you, if you want to talk about that, we'll see you tomorrow," the House speaker said in response. "But you take me back to my point, Mr. President, when was the last time you had a negative test before you tested positive? Why is the White House not telling the country that important fact about how this made a hot spot of the White House?"

Pelosi's comments come as Trump remains infected with the new coronavirus, and while he recently left the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and returned to the White House, details of his most recent negative COVID-19 test have yet to be released, prompting discussion of the 25th Amendment.

Following the death of then-President John F. Kennedy, the 25th Amendment, which outlines the succession of the executive branch if the president becomes unable to carry out the duties of the presidency or incapacitated, was passed by Congress in 1965 and ratified in 1967.

According ConstitutionCenter.Org, the 25th Amendment has four sections detailing a number of different provisions for the executive branch's line of succession.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California, with Democratic Representative Frank Pallone of New Jersey, holds her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill on October 8. While speaking about President Trump and his COVID-19 infection, Pelosi said, "Tomorrow, by the way, tomorrow, come here tomorrow. We're going to be talking about the 25th Amendment.…" Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty

"In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President," section 1 of the amendment states.

Section 2 outlines the situation where there is a vacancy in the office of the vice president and states that "the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress."

Section 3 details how the president can temporarily transfer power to the vice president and can resume the powers of the presidency once he is ready. This section was most recently used by President George W. Bush in 2002 when he temporarily transferred powers to Vice President Dick Cheney while undergoing a colonoscopy.

The final section details a scenario where the vice president would become "acting president" if the vice president and a majority of the president's Cabinet members, "transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

Despite Pelosi's comment suggesting that the 25th Amendment could be invoked amid concern of Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis, prior to leaving Walter Reed, White House communication director Alyssa Farah said that Trump was not transferring power to Vice President Mike Pence.

"The president is in charge," Farah said.

Newsweek reached out to the White House and Pelosi for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.