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EXCLUSIVE: Republican Rep. Mike Johnson Introduces Legislation to Address Doomsday Presidential Election Outcome

Daily Caller: James Lynch

Republican Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson introduced legislation Thursday to address a doomsday presidential election scenario involving an electoral college tie and the death of a presidential candidate, the Daily Caller has learned.

Johnson’s legislation, entitled the Solving an Overlooked Loophole in Votes for Executives (SOLVE) Act, would establish a panel of six Constitutional experts to recommend an electoral process if a presidential candidate dies during a contingency election in which the House of Representatives is tasked with choosing the winner. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. MTG Introduces Legislation That Would Ban Illegal Immigrants From Voting In DC)

“There is a little known loophole in the 20th Amendment that could lead to uncertain results in a presidential election year. The American public deserves an electoral system with clear and predictable rules. I introduced the SOLVE Act as one more step in the efforts of Congress to ensure stability and fairness in our elections,” Rep. Johnson told the Daily Caller.


Section four of the 20th Amendment gives Congress permission to “provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.”

The SOLVE Act would allow one panelist selection each for the Senate majority and minority leader, and the House Speaker and House minority leader. The House leaders would jointly appoint one of the panelists and the Senate leaders would jointly choose the other. Panelists would have to be selected no later than 180 days upon enactment of the SOLVE Act.

President Joe Biden, 80, is the oldest executive in American history and his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, 77, was the oldest president in the nation’s history when he took office in January 2017. A Harvard/Harris poll conducted in May with 2,004 registered voters showed over 60% of Americans expect Vice President Kamala Harris to take over if Biden wins a second term. The same poll found 65% of Americans believe Biden is too old to be president.

Trump is the polling favorite to win the Republican nomination and challenge Biden in the 2024 general election. Biden is widely expected to win the Democratic primary in his quest for reelection.

The House of Representatives has only voted to select the president once in American history, when none of the four presidential candidates won an electoral college majority in the 1824 election.

The House elected John Quincy Adams in February 1825 and selected then-House Speaker Henry Clay to serve as secretary of state. Adams’ and Clay’s arrangement was derided as the “corrupt bargain” by rival Andrew Jackson, who received more electoral college votes than Adams. Jackson was elected president in a landslide victory four years later and went on to win reelection in 1832.