Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 1 decade ago

What happens if a president dies? Who takes over?

i really need to know!

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is a list of the current presidential line of succession, as specified by the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 (3 U.S.C. § 19).

    # Office Current Officer

    1 Vice President

    President of the Senate Dick Cheney

    2 Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi

    3 President Pro Tempore of the Senate Robert Byrd

    4 Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

    5 Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson

    6 Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

    7 Attorney General Michael Mukasey

    8 Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne

    — Secretary of Agriculture Charles Conner (acting)‡

    — Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez (non-natural)†

    — Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao (non-natural)†

    9 Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt

    10 Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson

    11 Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters

    12 Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman

    13 Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings

    — Secretary of Veterans Affairs Gordon Mansfield (acting)‡‡

    14 Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff ††

    [edit] Notes

    † Non-natural-born citizens are ineligible

    It has been a subject of controversy whether cabinet officers who are not natural-born citizens, such as Carlos Gutierrez (born in Cuba) or Elaine Chao (born in Taiwan), are constitutionally ineligible to be Acting President, because Article Two establishes only eligibility requirements for the office of President. The same question exists for officers in the line of succession who are not at least 35 years old or have not resided in the United States for 14 years. To avoid a needless constitutional dispute at what would likely be a time of great crisis, the statute (3 U.S.C. § 19(e)) specifies that even the Acting President must meet the constitutional requirements for the office of President. Thus, Secretary Gutierrez and Secretary Chao are ineligible to serve as Acting President since they are not "natural-born citizens" of the United States.

    †† Inclusion of Secretary of Homeland Security

    On March 09, 2006, President Bush signed HR 3199 as Pub.L. 109-177, which renewed the Patriot Act and amended the Presidential Succession Act to include the Secretary of Homeland Security in the line of succession after the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (§ 503). In the 109th Congress, legislation was introduced to place the Secretary of Homeland Security into the line of succession after the Attorney General,[1] but that bill expired at the end of the 109th Congress and has not been re-introduced.

    ‡ Vacancy of Secretary of Agriculture

    The position of Secretary of Agriculture became vacant effective September 19, 2007 with the resignation of Mike Johanns. On October 31, George Bush nominated Ed Schafer to succeed him; he must be confirmed by the Senate to take office. Charles Conner is Secretary of Agriculture in an acting capacity.

    ‡‡ Vacancy of Secretary of Veterans' Affairs

    The position of Secretary of Veterans Affairs became vacant effective October 01, 2007 with the resignation of Jim Nicholson. On October 30, George Bush nominated James Peake to succeed him; he must be confirmed by the Senate to take office. Gordon Mansfield is Secretary of Veterans Affairs in an acting capacity.

    'Acting' officers are ineligible

    To be in the line of succession, an officer must have been appointed, and confirmed by the United States Senate, prior to the death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or otherwise failure to qualify of the President pro tempore. Therefore, 'acting' officers who have not been confirmed into the position cannot be in the line of succession.

    Members of the Presidential cabinet who are not heads of Departments--the White House Chief of Staff, for example--are not included in the line of succession.

  • 1 decade ago

    The line of succession to the presidency is not as straight forward as some has listed here. In the event the President is unable to discharge the duties of the office, the Vice President takes over until the President can return to office or vacates it. Once this occurs the VP is sworn in as the President. Then the new President selects a new VP who is approved by the Senate. If the President and VP were both no longer able to serve, the Speaker of the house would become Acting Preisdent. The speaker would not be sworn in as the President, however during the crisis that caused both memebers of the Executive branch to be removed, the speaker would fulfill the duties. The President Pro Temp of the Senate takes on the role of Acting President when the first 3 are removed. The list goes on down the chain through Cabinet positions, then into the House and Senate. If the President and VP were both killed, the Speaker would take over job, but not the title until the next election a new president. Under Title 3, Section 19(c) of the U.S. Code — The Speaker would have been able to "act as President until the expiration of the then current Presidential term." This is where constitutional lawyers have their fun. The constitution does not grant the speaker or any other member of congress the title of President, you have to be elected.

    Source(s): The US Constitution and Bill of Rights
  • 1 decade ago

    Vice President. Then the Speaker of the House of Representatives. There's a whole line of succession.

  • Greg
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The Vice President under the 25th amendment

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • pip
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The VP, followed by the speaker.. then I think it's the President Pro Temp after that or something like that.

  • 1 decade ago

    The VP takes over. If something happens to the VP, then the Speaker of the House takes over.

  • 1 decade ago

    VP, speaker of the house, President pro tempor, and then the secretaries of the departments if it gets that far.

    which departments go in which order, I forget. only figured it was important enough to commit to short term memory for the test.

  • 1 decade ago

    Vice President

    Speaker of the House



    There is an order.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    How old are you? Gee, this has happened more than once

    in this Nation. Have you never had history in school? That

    is what a Vice-President does......takes over, if for any

    reason, the President can't continue his duties of the office.

  • 1 decade ago

    The VP, then the Speaker

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.