Yellen defends Biden, rejects 25th Amendment discussion

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called President Biden “extremely effective” amid growing calls for him to step aside after a poor showing in his first presidential debate against former President Trump.

Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) asked Yellen during a House committee hearing if she had “noticed any mental or cognitive decline” in any of her meetings with Biden.

“The president is extremely effective in the meetings I’ve been in with him. That includes many international meetings that are multi-hour like his meetings with President Xi [Jinping of China],” Yellen said Tuesday during an annual hearing with the House Financial Services Committee on the international financial system.

The Treasury secretary declined to answer Lawler’s question about the last time she met with the president.

“I’m not going to comment on my meetings with the president. Those are private,” Yellen said.

Yellen also offered a single “no” when Lawler asked if there had been any discussion among Biden’s cabinet about invoking the 25th Amendment, which would allow a majority of the Cabinet to transfer powers from the president to the vice president if they believe they are unable to perform their duty.

The line of questioning prompted a gentle rebuke from Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), who chairs the Subcommittee on National Security, Illicit Finance and International Financial Institutions.

“Just a reminder to the committee that getting into the personal business effects of the president as well as Mr. Trump is inappropriate for this committee,” Luetkemeyer said.

Biden sparked alarm among Democratic lawmakers, allies and donors when he fumbled his words and struggled to string together responses at points during the debate.

While Democratic leaders have stood by the president, several House Democrats have called on the president to step aside as Trump has widened his lead over the president in the days since the debate.

The White House and campaign have pushed back on calls for Biden to drop out, saying the past three and a half years of his presidency should squash any concerns that stem from a 90-minute debate.

Trump currently has a 58 percent chance of winning the presidency, according to a forecast by The Hill and Decision Desk HQ. The incumbent has also been struggling to buck negative perceptions of his handling of the economy and win over voters who are upset about how he has handled the humanitarian crisis from the war between Israel and Hamas.

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