You may not have noticed, but there was a major shift of power at the White House on the morning of Friday, Nov. 19.
For just over an hour, on Friday, Nov. 19, President Joe Biden stepped down as president and Vice President Kamala Harris took over as “acting president.”
There is no report that Harris took any action during her hour as acting president and, according to the White House report, the entire time she was president Harris was in her vice presidential office. So Harris didn’t take the opportunity walk down to the Oval Office to sit behind the president’s desk.
It was actually a routine procedure. Biden had a colonoscopy Friday morning that required him to be sedated, so while he was under sedation he turned the reins over to Harris. President George W. Bush did the same thing when he had a colonoscopies, turning the country over to Vice President Dick Cheney.
On Friday morning at 10:10 a.m., Biden sent out an official letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and President Pro Tem of the Senate Senator Patrick Leahy, which states, “In accordance with the provisions of section 3 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, this letter shall constitute my written declaration that I am presently unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President of the United States. Pursuant to section 3, the Vice President shall discharge those powers and duties as Acting President until I transmit to you a written declaration that I am able to resume the discharge of those powers and duties.”
At 11:35 a.m., Biden sent out another official letter that states, “In accordance with the provisions of section 3 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, I hereby transmit to you my written declaration that I am able to discharge the powers and duties of the Office of President of the United States and that I am resuming those powers and duties.”
If President Biden had not been able to return to office so quickly, it would have fallen to Harris to pardon the national Thanksgiving Turkey, which is on the president’s schedule for Friday afternoon.