Comment: Presidential Succession of the USA

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Presidential Succession of the USA

  1. The Vice President Joseph Biden
  2. Speaker of the House John Boehner
  3. President pro tempore of the Senate1 Patrick Leahy
  4. Secretary of State John Kerry
  5. Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew
  6. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel
  7. Attorney General Eric Holder
  8. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
  9. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
  10. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson
  11. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis
  12. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius
  13. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan
  14. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood
  15. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu
  16. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
  17. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki
  18. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

According to the Presidential Succession Act of 1792, the Senate president pro tempore1 was next in line after the vice president to succeed to the presidency, followed by the Speaker of the House.

In 1886, however, Congress changed the order of presidential succession, replacing the president pro tempore and the Speaker with the cabinet officers. Proponents of this change argued that the congressional leaders lacked executive experience, and none had served as president, while six former secretaries of state had later been elected to that office.

The Presidential Succession Act of 1947, signed by President Harry Truman, changed the order again to what it is today. The cabinet members are ordered in the line of succession according to the date their offices were established.

Prior to the ratification of the 25th Amendment in 1967, there was no provision for filling a vacancy in the vice presidency. When a president died in office, the vice president succeeded him, and the vice presidency then remained vacant. The first vice president to take office under the new procedure was Gerald Ford, who was nominated by Nixon on Oct. 12, 1973, and confirmed by Congress the following Dec. 6.
NOTE: An official cannot succeed to the Presidency unless that person meets the Constitutional requirements.
1. The president pro tempore presides over the Senate when the vice president is absent. The president pro tempore is elected by the Senate, but by tradition the position is held by the senior member of the majority party.
2. If you are here, you are on your own.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul