The U.S. Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to make Daylight Savings Time permanent in what many say will make short winter days better with an extra added hour of sunshine in the afternoon.
“The measure still needs approval from the U.S. House of Representatives and the backing of President Joe Biden.,” Reuters reported. “On Sunday, most of the United States resumed Daylight Savings Time, moving ahead one hour. The United States will resume standard time in November 2022.”
Passed by Unanimous Consent, S.623: Sunshine Protection Act, as amended (to make Daylight Saving Time permanent) @SenRubioPress / @SenWhitehouse / others
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, spoke to The Daily Wire about his support for the bill during a recent interview, noting that as a former football coach, the bill will help kids who participate in athletic programs after school.
“Of everything that I’ve done since I’ve been here, I’ve had more feedback, positive feedback,” Tuberville said. “I mean, everybody wants longer days. They don’t want it to turn dark at 4:30 and the kids have to come in the house, they have to put up with them longer, the kids can’t stay out and play and practices and all that.”
Shortly after the “Sunshine Protection Act” passed, Tuberville delivered remarks on the Senate floor praising the bill, which was originally sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
“I cannot overstate how grateful I am that this bill has passed this Chamber just a few minutes ago by Unanimous Consent,” Tuberville said. “It’s especially timely given that we all had to change our clocks this past weekend, and we are now experiencing longer, sunnier days. But it would be better news if longer, sunnier days were a new norm and not cause for a temporary, seasonal celebration. Which is why I hope my colleagues in the House of Representatives pass this bill quickly.”
“Since I joined Senator Rubio in the effort to pass the Sunshine Protection Act, the phones in my office have absolutely been ringing off the hook in support of permanently adopting Daylight Saving Time,” he continued. “Moms and dads who want some more daylight before putting the kids to bed, so dinner time doesn’t feel like bedtime. Elderly people who want more sun in the evenings in order to take a walk, enjoy work in their yards. Farmers who could use the extra daylight to work in the fields – for them, it’s a better business model and adds to the bottom line.”
“But it’s not just people in the state of Alabama – Americans across the country want to make Daylight Saving Time permanent,” he added. “In fact, it is worth noting this bill has bipartisan support – evidence by the fact it passed with no objection here in the Senate mere moments ago. It is no secret how rare that is here in this Chamber.”
Recently, Yale Law School professor E. Donald Elliott, a first-rate lawyer and regulatory expert, wrote in TAS that a little-known provision in the 25th Amendment can be used to swiftly toss the sitting president and vice president, and replace them with competent, trusted leadership for the remainder of the Biden-Harris term. The provision, in the Amendment’s involuntary disability paragraph, sec. 4, contains the following sentence, the last 11 words of which one might call section 4’s Emergency Clause:
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide.… (Emphasis mine.)
In support of his idea, he argued: Most voters, across the political spectrum, see Biden and Harris as manifestly unable to govern — the former clearly beset by cognitive deficiency; the latter — like many vice presidents — chosen for political appeal, despite lacking basic issue knowledge or executive ability. Hence, Congress should call upon Biden and Harris to both resign voluntarily. If either or both refuse, Congress should activate section 4’s Emergency Clause, and schedule a plebiscite. The House and Senate should each vote by simple majority for a recall election, asking a majority of the electorate to vote that neither is capable of discharging the “powers & duties” of their respective offices, and to replace them with a caretaker national unity government. If a majority votes to recall both, Congress would pick two replacement leaders who are trusted by both sides. An illustrative example Professor Elliott offered was to have top Democrat Leon Panetta serve as president, and respected Republican Robert Gates — who served in the Bush 43 and Obama cabinets, to serve as Panetta’s vice president. Other respected figures could well fill the bill.
The genesis of this Emergency Clause was during the debates on presidential succession in the Eisenhower administration. Whether to craft either a Constitutional or statutory provision to remedy what was by then universally regarded as a gaping hole in the collection of laws — in the text of the Constitution and laws that Congress enacted — governing presidential succession.
In a series of five TAS articles published last fall I examined presidential succession in detail: Part I, historical antecedents; Part II, 25th Amendment genesis; Part III, 25th Amendment implementation today; and Part IV, possible first-ever use of the 25th Amendment’s involuntary presidential disability provision — focusing mostly on Constitutional issues, dipping down into legislative enactment (in legal shorthand parlance, “statutory”) issues only when necessary. Finally, I discussed problems for today’s situation, created by flawed presidential succession statutes. What follows in the next two sections is a summary extracted from my five articles.
Presidential and Vice-Presidential Disability, 1789-1965. By 1965, when Lyndon Johnson was sworn in for his full presidential term, there had been seven presidencies terminated by death — William Henry Harrison (1841), Zachary Taylor (1850), Abraham Lincoln (1865), James Garfield (1881), William McKinley (1901), Warren Harding (1923), Franklin Roosevelt (1945) — by eerie coincidence, six of the seven were originally elected in a year divisible by 20. Ronald Reagan, first elected in 1980, narrowly escaped the “20” jinx in 1981, breaking the spell.
The two most notable presidential disabilities were those that struck James Garfield (1881) and Woodrow Wilson (1919-1921). Garfield’s illness lasted 80 days, from being shot July 2, until his death September 19. Wilson’s was far more consequential, his massive stroke coming in the midst of his two biggest fights: (a) win ratification of the Versailles Treaty that he had negotiated in Paris with the European members of the Big Four; (b) his push for the U.S. to join the nascent League of Nations. He failed on both counts. Many regard first lady Edith Bolling Gault Wilson as the first — albeit de facto — woman president; she headed a triumvirate that from behind the scenes ran the executive branch for 18 months, from Wilson’s September 25, 1919 stroke until Warren Harding was inaugurated March 4, 1921.
And as if all that were not enough, from April 30, 1789 to January 20, 1965 the vice-presidency was vacant, either by death or illness, 37-1/4 years — roughly one-fifth of the time. As vice-presidencies were derisively regarded as a useless appendage for much of that time, it did not seem to matter. But when Harry Truman, largely unknown to the public, succeeded to the presidency in 1945, HST was woefully unprepared to assume the Oval Office. FDR had neglected to brief Truman on the Manhattan Project, then nearing its goal of producing the world’s first atomic bombs. The war in Europe was less than one month from V-E Day; V-J Day in the Pacific was 4-1/2 months away. And it was this untried vice president who, now in the Oval Office, had to decide whether to unleash upon Japan the moist lethal weapons ever created.
Fortunately for America — and the world — Truman rose magnificently to the occasion, ending the most destructive war in world history, and then meeting the Soviet challenge at the start of the Cold War. Winston Churchill later told HST:
I loathed your taking the place of Franklin Roosevelt.… I misjudged you badly. Since that time, you more than any other man, have saved Western civilization.
The Push for Succession Reform, 1956-67. Thereafter, it occurred to many that the next time in a crucial turn of history presidential succession was uncertain, or a vice-presidential vacancy left unfilled, America might not be so lucky.
It was President Eisenhower himself who pressed for a solution to the problems of succession, after his 1955 heart attack. Then, on November 25, 1957, Ike suffered a paralyzing stroke. Thinking he would not survive, he asked his chief of staff to alert the vice president; Nixon was told that he might be president in 24 hours. But Ike rallied, and was back at work in one week. The effort for reform, led by his attorney general, came to naught, for want of agreement on how to deal with the myriad complexities attending presidential involuntary disability. The 1960 presidential campaign saw a contest between two able men in their forties, and a sense of crisis gone.
Circumstances dramatically and tragically changed on Nov. 22, 1963, with the shocking assassination of JFK, a president in the apparent prime of life (his many serious health problems concealed from the public with the acquiescence of the press corps of the time). Lyndon Johnson took office determined to find solutions to the problems of presidential and vice-presidential succession. From LBJ’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 1964, it was to be just over three years to the 38th state ratifying the 25th Amendment.
Spurred by urgent necessity, in the aftermath not only of the JFK assassination, but also in the wake of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when the world was poised on the precipice of possible nuclear war, the best legal, political, and medical minds were assembled to find a solution. Those advocating a legislative remedy touted the great flexibility that would enable rapid resolution of a succession crisis. But such flexibility gave much room for political mischief, and politicians, like Oscar Wilde, notoriously can resist anything but temptation. Conversely, while encasing the succession process in a Constitutional amendment would ward off opportunistic mischief, that risked leaving no quick solution if the text did not expressly cover a particular set of circumstances.
The compromise reached in 1964 was to add the Emergency Clause language to section 4 of the 25th Amendment. In doing so flexibility was introduced and, inevitably, commensurate opportunities for expedient political exploitation. Supporters of the 25th conceded this, but added that absent some sense of civic virtue during a crisis, no free republic could survive. An overwhelming majority of both Houses of Congress decided that the gravity of the crisis would likely induce gravity of civic purpose.
In his 1968 memoir, One Heartbeat Away, Birch Bayh, who led the Senate effort to adopt the 25th, recalled how President Eisenhower said that those considering presidential succession crises must assume that the necessary civic purpose would bring forth “men of honor, men of integrity, men whose concern is the welfare of their own country and not of their own personal ambitions.”
Can a Recall Election Realistically Be Held? The Crisis of 2022-2025. Only 14 months into the Biden-Harris term, we find ourselves transformed into a nation that reels from banana-republic inflation whilst sliding into stagnation — the worst stagflation in 50 years; that sees “woke” district attorneys aid criminals while undercutting the police, and an attorney general who regards activist school parents opposing teachers’ unions as domestic terrorists; that traded a secure southwestern border for an open-border welcome mat for unvaccinated economic migrants and massive lethal drug smuggling by the cartels; that traded energy independence for the first time in 70 years, for importing oil and gas provided by Russia (just halted) and Iran; that faces an emboldened China determined to replace Pax Americana with Pax Sinica, as our military atrophies from the twin constraints of omnibus budget limits and 30 years of continuous oversees operations. Most sinister of all: Washington labels opposing views “misinformation” over which it asserts, in league with “woke” tech oligarchs and mainstream media allies, the right to censor the views of political opponents. George Orwell, call your office.
Accepting the premise that a recall of the current administration is needed, there is a need for procedural and substantive policy safeguards, if the recall proposal is to have any chance of passing. The first set covers limits upon those who accept a caretaker role.
National Unity (NU) Procedural Prerequisites: Six safeguards must be implemented to minimize the prospect that a caretaker government seeks to exploit an emergency by enacting permanent legislation:
NU members serve to 1/20/2025, when President and VP are sworn in.
NU members recuse themselves from campaigning for anyone.
NU members agree not to join the next administration.
NU members work with Congress on an interim “caretaker” program.
NU members work to rapidly restore proven successful policies.
NU’s top priority: Avoid big wars by shoring up nuclear/cyber defenses.
The second set covers limits upon what those caretakers can do:
NU Substantive Prohibions —“must NOT” — Pre-Empt Matters Properly Reserved for the Voters or those elected by them:
Aim to resolve long-term structural disputes (abolishing Electoral College; packing Supreme Court; admitting D.C./PR by statute; abolishing Senate filibuster for legislation; federalizing elections).
Aim to permanently resolve major substantive policy disputes (energy/environment, market/socialist economy, amnesty/return of illegal migrants, teacher/parent control of education, health policy, etc.).
Lifetime appointments must be reconfirmed by the new administration.
All interim measures expire 4/30/25 (100 days into the administration).
Bottom Line. In my TASarticle on statutes governing presidential succession, I called those laws “a ticking time bomb.” With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, its brutal ruler obsessed with recovering all the territory surrendered by the former Soviet Union at the end of 1991, the Presidential Succession Time Bomb has just exploded.
Therein I wrote, of our deepening partisan division:
The state of near open civil war that prevails today precludes bipartisan cooperation — especially given one-party control of the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives. It will take electoral outcomes that alter the balance of power, in order to make possible considering change. . . .
What makes today’s partisanship so dangerous and obstructive is that the divide is not simply over policy. It is over the very structure of government and the balance between governmental power and individual rights — with rising claims of selective group rights for currently favored constituencies.
No recall can happen before the November elections. It will take landslide GOP sweeps in both the House and Senate for it to begin. Yet while that will stymie the Biden administration’s legislative program, and force less partisan judicial appointments, the main administration response will be a broader attempt to govern by executive fiat. Most of these initiatives will ultimately lose in the federal courts, but the administration already has openly stated that it will implement policies struck down in the federal courts, until the appeals process is complete, so as to create faits accomplis that cannot easily be undone by a new sheriff in town.
We can live with — however reluctantly — those expedient workarounds. What we should not risk is living with a moribund administration living in its Beltway Bubble, as a raging Vladimir Putin threatens World War III over Ukraine, including possible use of nuclear weapons, not only against Ukraine, but also NATO countries, including the United States, if his aggressive designs are stymied. Ditto Chinese dictator Xi Jinping, who ardently desires to force Taiwan back into China’s orbit, waging war if necessary. And ditto to Iran’s mullahs, who pine for a nuclear weapon to give them immunity from removal, and redouble efforts to destroy Israel.
There is an adage in business: Never bet the company. Allowing Joe Biden and/or Kamala Harris to continue in office for the next 35-1/2 months amounts to betting the American republic, and all the freedoms it stands for.
John Wohlstetter is author of Sleepwalking With the Bomb (Discovery Institute Press, 2d. ed. 2014).
Fox News White House Correspondent Jacqui Heinrich sparred with Press Secretary Jen Psaki over whether or not President Joe Biden actually had a “red line” with regard to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
Heinrich began with the news that her colleague, Fox News war correspondent Benjamin Hall, had been injured in Ukraine when the vehicle he was in was fired upon by Russian occupation forces. (It was later announced that longtime Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski was killed in that same incident.)
Noting that Biden had said as recently as February that the United States would “respond forcefully if Americans were targeted in Ukraine,” Heinrich asked whether or not the White House planned to respond to the news that Hall had been injured and former New York Times contributor Brent Renaud had been killed over the weekend as well.
.@JacquiHeinrich to Psaki: Biden “said…in February…the U.S. would respond forcefully if Americans were targeted in Ukraine. Brent Renaud was killed over the weekend. One of my colleagues (@BenjaminHallFNC) was injured today…So, what is that response going to look like?” pic.twitter.com/43ukelKZ3k
“Our thoughts, the president’s thoughts, our administration’s thoughts are with him, his family, and all of you at Fox News,” Psaki replied, although she said she had nothing more to add with regard to any additional steps the administration might be planning to take in response.
Psaki on @BenjaminHallFNC being hurt in Ukraine: “Our thoughts, the President’s thoughts, our administration’s thoughts are w/him, his family, & all of you at Fox News[.]”
She adds Biden has led the world in punishing Russia, but nothing “to preview” if more Americans are hurt pic.twitter.com/ZaareyNtsv
Heinrich pushed back on Psaki’s continued claims that President Biden had led the world on making sure that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “punished” for the war he continued to wage against Ukraine, arguing that Biden had not drawn a clear “red line” that would demand a response from the administration.
.@JacquiHeinrich: “But we’ve seen the President been so far unwilling to draw a red line on the kinds of atrocities that we’re going to watch from the sidelines…Obama drew the redline for Syria at chemical weapons…Any thought process of what we are willing to watch happen[?]” pic.twitter.com/HRxKcVEdq8
“But we’ve seen the president been so far unwilling to draw a red line on the kinds of atrocities that we’re going to watch from the sidelines,” Heinrich continued, pointing to former President Barack Obama’s chemical weapons “red line” in Syria. “Any thought process of what we are willing to watch happen?”
Psaki pushed back, saying again that Biden had led the world in putting pressure on Putin. “I think it’s important to reiterate as much as we can that what we are seeing is horrific, what we’re seeing is barbaric and the steps that the president has taken and led the world in taking has essentially led the Russian financial system to be on the brink of collapse,” she said.
Psaki: “I think it’s important to reiterate as much as we can that what we are seeing is horrific, what we’re seeing is barbaric and the steps that the President has taken and led the world taken has essentially led the Russian financial system to be on the brink of collapse.” pic.twitter.com/mxGZX5sQKG
“Is there a concern that if we don’t draw the line at something like chemical weapons, it’ll make it easier for malign actors to use them in the future because they’ll just go unpunished?” Heinrich continued to press, but Psaki argued that the world would certainly respond if it came to that.
“Well, Jacqui, I think that you heard the president say on Friday that there would be severe consequences and the world would respond if they were to use chemical weapons,” Psaki said. “And what we have been doing over the course of the last several weeks, if not months, is providing as much information to the global community, to the media, and to others about what to expect.”
“And when you have President Putin suggesting — and Russian — Russian officials suggesting that the United States and Ukrainians are the ones who are working on a chemical weapons program, it’s clear that this is a pattern that we’ve seen in the past of them trying to set up a predicate for their own actions,” she added.
“What does that end up looking like if the world responds?” Heinrich protested. “Because we’ve heard the president talk a lot about what the U.S. is not going to do … why wouldn’t we think that he would just create a pretext that is fabricated for something like that?”
“We do,” Psaki replied.
.@JacquiHeinrich: “What does that end up looking like if the world responds? B/c…we’ve heard the President talk a lot about what the U.S. is not going to do…Why wouldn’t we think that he would just create a pretext that is fabricated for something like that.”
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