Security Secretary Tom Ridge could be 8th in line to
succeed the president if bills now before Congress become law, according
to media reports.
the Presidential Succession Act, signed in 1947 by then-President
Harry Truman, if the president either dies or is unable to fill
out his term, the vice president would become president. Next in
line is the speaker of the House, then the president pro tempore
of the Senate and then the secretary of state.
as the newest Cabinet-level secretary, was No. 18 on the list, according
to media outlets. The bills, one of which was approved by the Senate
in late June, would move him up to No. 8.
the bill has met little resistance in Congress, it has spurred some
jabs from comedians. John Stewart of Comedy Central’s “The Daily
Show” pointed out that the bill would mean that if a terrorist attack
were to wipe out the first seven, ironically, the man in charge
of the failed security that led to their deaths would take over.
to The Associated Press, the current line of succession is:
Vice President Dick Cheney, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Senate
President Pro Tempore Ted Stevens, Secretary of State Colin Powell,
Secretary of the Treasury John Snow, Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Interior Secretary
Gale Norton. The bills would place Ridge behind Ashcroft and ahead