S. 1997 (104th): Presidential Succession Clarification Act

104th Congress, 1995–1996. Text as of Jul 26, 1996 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

S 1997 IS

104th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 1997

To clarify certain matters relating to Presidential succession.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 26, 1996

Mr. SIMON introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration


A BILL

To clarify certain matters relating to Presidential succession.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Presidential Succession Clarification Act’.

SEC. 2. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS ON THE MEANING OF PRESIDENT-ELECT AND VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT.

    For purposes of the 20th Amendment of the Constitution:

      (1) A candidate for whom a majority of electors have cast their votes for President shall be deemed to be ‘President-elect’ from the time that the votes are cast, whether or not the candidate is living at the time the votes are counted in Congress.

      (2) A candidate for whom a majority of electors have cast their votes for Vice-President shall be deemed to be ‘Vice-President-elect’ from the time that the votes are cast, whether or not the candidate is living at the time the votes are counted in Congress.

SEC. 3. TIME OF APPOINTING ELECTORS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The text of section 1 of title 3, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), the electors for President and Vice President shall be appointed in each State, on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in every fourth year succeeding every election of President and Vice President.

    ‘(b) If a major party candidate for the office of President dies 14 or fewer days prior to the date specified in subsection (a), the electors of President and Vice President shall be appointed in each state 14 days after the death of such candidate.

    ‘(c) For purposes of this section, the term ‘major party’ means, with respect to a Presidential election, a political party whose candidate for office of President in the preceding Presidential election received, as a candidate for such party, 25 percent or more of the total number of popular votes received by all candidates for such office.’.

SEC. 4. TIME OF MEETING OF ELECTORS.

    The text of section 7 of title 3, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

    ‘(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), the electors of President and Vice President of each State shall meet and give their votes on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December next following their appointment at such place in each State as the legislature of such State shall direct.

    ‘(b) If a leading candidate for the office of President dies 14 or fewer days prior to the date specified in subsection (a), the electors of President and Vice President shall meet and give their votes 14 days after the death of such candidate.

    ‘(c) For purposes of this section--

      ‘(1) the term ‘leading candidate’ means--

        ‘(A) with respect to a Presidential election, a candidate for the office of President who, on the basis of the popular votes received by such candidate in the several States, has presumptively won a majority of electoral votes in that election; or

        ‘(B) if there is no such candidate who meets the description in subparagraph (A), any of the three candidates, who, on the basis of the popular vote received by such candidates in the several States, have presumptively won the three highest totals of electoral votes; and

      ‘(2) a candidate has ‘presumptively won’ an electoral vote when that candidate receives a plurality or more of the popular vote in the district or state represented by the elector.’.

SEC. 5. DEATH OF A CANDIDATE PRIOR TO CONSIDERATION BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OR THE SENATE.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 1 of title 3, United States Code, is amended by adding after section 18 the following:

‘Sec. 18A. Death of a candidate

    ‘(a) In the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President after the right of choice has devolved upon them, the House of Representatives may consider the designated running mate of the deceased candidate as the candidate’s replacement for purposes of choosing a President.

    ‘(b) In the case of the death of any candidate from whom the Senate may choose the Vice-President after the right of choice has devolved upon them, the Senate may consider a candidate designated by the deceased candidate’s political party as the candidate’s replacement for purposes of choosing a Vice-President.

    (b) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents for chapter 1 of title 3, United States Code, is amended by adding after the item for section 18 the following:

      ‘18A. Death of a candidate.’.