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Who becomes president of the US if both the president and vice president die?


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October 25, 2017 1:13AM

The Speaker of the House of Representatives is next in the line of Presidential succession. However, this would require that both offices, President and Vice President, be simultaneously vacant. This is much less likely following the enactment of the 25th Amendment, which provides for a replacement Vice President whenever the position is vacated.

According the current Presidential Succession Act (3 USC § 19), the order of succession if both the President and Vice President die, are removed from office, and/or are unable to perform the duties of President is:

Speaker of the House

President pro tempore of the Senate

Secretary of State

Secretary of the Treasury

Secretary of Defense

Attorney General

Secretary of the Interior

Secretary of Agriculture

Secretary of Commerce

Secretary of Labor

Secretary of Health and Human Services

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Secretary of Transportation

Secretary of Energy

Secretary of Education

Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Secretary of Homeland Security

(The cabinet members are ordered in the line of succession according to the date their offices were established.)

Note that a President is required to be born a citizen, to be at least 35 and to have lived in the US for 14 years. If the next in line does not meet these requirements, he or she will be passed over on the list.

Note also that line of succession applies only to the office of the Presidency. Once one of those in the succession becomes President; that person appoints a new Vice-President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Before 1967

Prior to the ratification of the 25th Amendment in 1967, there was no provision for filling a vacancy in the vice presidency. When a president died in office, the vice president succeeded him, and the vice presidency then remained vacant.

If the president died or left office when there was no vice-president, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate would have become president, and next the Speaker of the House. The Speaker assumed the top position in 1947, after the period 1886-1947 when only Cabinet officers were in the line of succession.

If both the President and the Vice President are unable to serve, then the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives would become President.
Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

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February 18, 2013 10:31PM


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May 26, 2011 1:11AM

If the president and vice-president are both incapacitated at the same time, The Speaker of the House would serve as President.

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April 22, 2011 9:00PM

The speaker of the House is next in line if there is no VP.

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April 20, 2011 1:54AM

The Speaker of the House is next in line is there is no vice-president.

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January 27, 2011 7:14PM

If they both die at the same time , the Speaker of the House would become the president. If the VP dies or resigns, the president chooses a new VP subject to Congressional approval. If the VP becomes President he would pick a new VP.

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January 11, 2011 2:04AM

The Speaker of the House is next in line. However, be aware that this succession would occur only if the president and vice president die at the same time. In more ordinary circumstances, a new vice president would be chosen if the vice-president dies or takes the place of the president and that new VP would be next in line.