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Pennsylvania congressman targets Trump with 'Stable Genius' bill

Wes Venteicher
| Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, 5:24 p.m.
Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Philadelphia
Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Philadelphia

U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Philadelphia, targeted what he called President Trump's “reckless, erratic behavior” with legislation Tuesday that would require presidential candidates to undergo medical evaluations and disclose the results before elections.

“The president believes he is a ‘stable genius.' I do not,” Boyle, 40, said in a news release. “Americans have a right to know whether an individual has the physical and mental fitness to serve as president of the United States.”

Boyle referred to recent Twitter posts by the president, who called himself a “very stable genius” in response to passages in the recently released book “Fire and Fury” that question the president's fitness for office.

The legislation is titled the Standardizing Testing and Accountability Before Large Elections Giving Electors Necessary Information for Unobstructed Selection — or STABLE GENIUS — Act.

Under the legislation, the Secretary of the Navy would administer the medical examinations and file results with the Federal Election Commission, which makes its filings public.

Boyle, a second-term congressman, co-sponsored a separate bill last year expressing “no confidence that President Trump is faithfully executing the office of the President” and called on Trump to release tax returns, put his business in a blind trust, refrain from using Twitter inappropriately and respect the independence of the judiciary branch, among other things.

The new legislation faces long odds in the House, where Republicans outnumber Democrats, 239 to 193. Three seats are vacant.

“It's one of those things where you file a bill kind of for show,” said Robert Morris University political science professor Philip Harold.

Harold said he thinks the campaign process already gives voters plenty of chances to see and hear candidates and make judgments on their fitness.

A White House spokesman did not return a message.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, wventeicher@tribweb.com or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

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