Stable Genius Act

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Stable Genius Act
Great Seal of the United States
Full titleTo amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require the principal campaign committee of a candidate in a general election for the office of President to file a certification that the candidate has undergone a medical examination conducted by a medical office under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Navy.
AcronymSTABLE GENIUS Act
Colloquial name(s)Standardizing Testing and Accountability Before Large Elections Giving Electors Necessary Information for Unobstructed Selection Act
Introduced in115th United States Congress
Introduced onJanuary 9, 2018
Sponsored byRep. Boyle, Brendan F. D-PA-13
Citations
Public LawPub.L. [https://www.govinfo.gov/link/plaw/115/public/4742?link-type=html 115–4742 (text) (pdf)]
Effects and codifications
Act(s) affectedFederal Election Campaign Act
Title(s) affected52
U.S.C. section(s) affected304
Legislative history

The STABLE GENIUS Act is a proposed Act of Congress authored by U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle (DPA–02) to require presidential candidates to have a medical exam and publicly disclose the results before the general election.[1] The name of the act is a backronym for "Standardizing Testing and Accountability Before Large Elections Giving Electors Necessary Information for Unobstructed Selection". It is a reference to a two-part tweet sent by President Donald Trump referring to himself as a "stable genius".[2] It was originally proposed on January 9, 2018 to the 115th Congress as HR 4742, and was reintroduced on July 12, 2019 to the 116th Congress as HR 3736.[3]

Background[edit]

Trump's first use of the term was in response to allegations of mental health problems in the recently published book Fire and Fury, which was followed by extensive discussion of the subject on cable news. On January 6, 2018 Trump tweeted "Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.... I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star... to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!"[2] He has described himself as an "extremely stable genius" or "true stable genius" on several subsequent occasions.[4] On one such occasion he also called on multiple members of his staff to testify that he was calm and under control.[5]

Donald Trump's campaign in 2016 was not his first attempt at the presidency; the first attempt was in 1999 with an effort through the Reform Party to win their nomination of the 2000 presidential election. [6]

Legislation[edit]

Boyle introduced the legislation as HR 4742 on January 9, 2018.[7] It was immediately referred to the House Committee on House Administration, with no further action since.[8]

In July 2019, months after the Democrats won majority status in the House of Representatives, Boyle reintroduced the legislation as HR 3736, where it was again referred to the House Committee on House Administration.[3]

Reaction[edit]

On the January 10, 2018 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, Boyle said "Hopefully I have the best words to describe this",[9] referring to the comment Trump made on the campaign trail: "I'm very highly educated. I know words, I know the best words. But there's no better word than stupid."[10]

That night, Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon suggested an alternate name for the bill: "It is called the Too Little, Too Late Act."[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Democratic congressman unveils 'Stable Genius Act' to evaluate presidential candidates' mental health". Washington Examiner. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Stanglin, Doug (January 6, 2018). "Trump, mocking questions on his mental state, tweets he is a 'stable genius'". USA Today. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  3. ^ a b https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/3736
  4. ^ Cummings, William (July 11, 2019). "Trump says he's 'so great looking and smart, a true Stable Genius' in tweet bashing 2020 Dems". USA Today. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  5. ^ Forgey, Quint; Lippman, Daniel (May 23, 2019). "'Extremely stable genius': Trump defends his mental fitness as he tears into Pelosi". Politico. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  6. ^ "A look back at Trump's first run". Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  7. ^ "Congressman introduces 'STABLE GENIUS Act' requiring medical exams for presidential candidates". Fox 7 Austin. January 11, 2018. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  8. ^ "H.R.4742 - STABLE GENIUS Act". Congress.gov. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  9. ^ "Philly congressman talks 'Stable Genius Act' on MSNBC". Philly Voice. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
  10. ^ "Trump: 'I have the best words'". Washington Post. The Washington Post. April 5, 2017. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  11. ^ "Fallon: Dem's bill forcing presidential candidates to take mental health exam the 'Too Little, Too Late Act'". The Hill. Retrieved January 11, 2018.