Congress Passes New Presidential Succession Act

1948

After Harry Truman becomes president, the United States does not have a vice president. The possibility that the office might fall to someone further down the line of succession was a very real one. Truman believes that the next few men in line for the presidency should be “elected representatives of the people” (Cabinet officers are appointed by the president). The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 restore the president pro tempore of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives to the line of succession. Under extraordinary circumstances, the succession passes from president to vice president to speaker of the House to president pro tempore of the Senate.