Langevin, Colleagues Urge Leadership to Prepare for Worst Case Scenario

Mar 20, 2002
(Washington, D.C.)–Congressmen Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Brian Baird (D-WA) will be joined by former Speaker Tom Foley, Norm Ornstein (who will read a statement prepared by former Speaker Newt Gingrich), and Congressman  Chris Cox (R-CA) with other members at a press conference today to urge the House Leadership to address Congressional succession in the event of catastrophic loss of members.
Other members include Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), author of the Presidential Succession Act, and Congressman and Democratic Caucus Chairman Martin Frost (D-TX).

At the press conference, members will call upon House Leadership to create a plan for succession in the House of Representatives. Baird and Langevin have been circulating a letter that asks House leadership to form a committee that would examine the issue of continuity in Congress and report back to Congress within three months. Over 140 members have signed on to the letter, which will be delivered to Leadership on Wednesday.

Under current law, there is no quick succession plan for members of the House of Representatives. Vacancies in the House have traditionally been filled by special elections, which can take up to six months depending on the state. This system has worked well for the relatively few vacancies that have occurred in the House of Representatives, but would be unworkable in the event of catastrophic losses.

WHAT:  News Conference on Continuity in Congress (with former Speaker Tom Foley)
WHEN:  Today (Wed. 20 March) at 1:30pm
WHERE:  House Triangle, Washington, DC*