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Cheney Assumes Low-Key Command

June 29, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Vice President Dick Cheney was acting president for two hours and 15 minutes Saturday while President Bush had a colon screening. Cheney made no presidential decisions.

Cheney temporarily assumed the powers of the presidency at 7:09 a.m. EDT, when Bush made the transfer at Camp David, Md., certifying he was temporarily unable to discharge ``the powers and duties of his office,″ White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

At 9:24 a.m., Bush resumed the powers of his office. The test, for which Bush was sedated, found no abnormalities.

Cheney spent the morning at the White House carrying out his normal work routine, including intelligence briefings, and did not take make any presidential decisions in that time, Fleischer said.

The spokesman did not think Cheney’s staff addressed him as ``Mr. Acting President.″

``It’s a mouthful,″ Fleischer said.

Bush said he was transferring power as a precaution in a time of terrorism. President Reagan was the first to invoke the Constitution’s 25th Amendment since its adoption in 1967 as a means of dealing with presidential disability and succession.

Section 3 of the 25th Amendment _ enacted in 1967, four years after President Kennedy’s assassination _ was invoked on July 13, 1985, when Reagan had surgery for colon cancer.

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