Presidential and Vice Presidential Succession: Overview and Current Legislation [Updated September 27, 2004]   [open pdf - 118KB]

"The events of September 11, 2001 raised concerns about continuity in the presidency and succession issues in general. Following establishment of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), legislation to include the DHS secretary in the line of succession has been introduced in the 108th Congress: S. 148, H.R. 1354, and H.R. 2319. All three would include the Secretary of Homeland Security in the line of succession following the Attorney General, while H.R. 2319 also makes further amendments to the Succession Act of 1947. Other measures would make major changes to existing succession law; these include H.R. 2749, S. 2073, S.Res. 419, or propose actions that would not require legislation (H.Res. 775 and S.Con.Res. 89). The Senate Committees on the Judiciary and Rules and Administration held a joint hearing September 16, 2003 to review the Succession Act of 1947 and the question of succession in general. For additional related information, please consult CRS Report RS20827, Presidential and Vice Presidential Terms and Tenure, by Thomas H. Neale, and CRS Report RS20260, Presidential Disability: An Overview, by Thomas H. Neale. This report will be updated as events warrant."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL31761
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