Rep. George Santos (R-NY) introduced legislation this week that would require the president of the United States to go through annual testing to assess overall intellect, memory, and other mental capacities. This move echoes calls from others who say the advanced age of many politicians means it is time to insist on mental stress tests.
Under his new bill, annual assessments on the president would measure general intellect, reading and comprehension, attention and concentration, processing speed, learning and memory, reasoning, executive functions, visuospatial skills, motor speed and dexterity, mood and personality, and memory retention.
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“Regardless of political affiliation, this should be a common sense and bipartisan agreement that when a man or a woman becomes president, they submit to an annual cognitive evaluation,” Santos said this week.
“Physical examination results are publicly released throughout their time in office, and a thorough cognitive assessment should also be included.”
Santos said that under his bill, the failure of a president to comply with the law would result in a ban on funding for any official travel done by the president until the tests are completed.
Fox News shared:
The idea of mental competency tests for older presidents gained notoriety last month, when GOP candidate Nikki Haley, 51, said politicians over the age of 75 should subject themselves to a mental evaluation. Drawing the line there would cover two others who are already running or expected to run for the White House — President Biden, who is 80, and GOP candidate Donald Trump, who is 76.
“In the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire,” Haley said in February. “We’ll have term limits for Congress and mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”
Last month, Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) called for an amendment to the Constitution requiring a mental competency test for all presidents regardless of their age.
Biden has been under constant scrutiny for his repeated gaffes and apparent confusion when he is speaking. Other politicians like Senator Dianne Feinstein have also been under scrutiny for her age and her mental capacity.
Haley’s idea of mental competency tests for older politicians was rejected by First Lady Jill Biden, who said the idea was “ridiculous” and said she and Biden would “never even discuss something like that.”
“How many 30-year-olds could travel to Poland, get on the train, go nine more hours, go to Ukraine, meet with President (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy?” Jill Biden asked.
“So, look at the man. Look at what he’s doing. Look at what he continues to do each and every day.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence also said he is against the idea of a mental competency test, even though he is still too young to undergo one.
“No, I think the American people can sort that out,” said Pence, 63. “I really do.”
Rep. Santos is currently facing an investigation by the House Ethics Committee for lying about his background while running for the House, which included his education and work history.