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13 surprising facts about the Presidential line of succession

Best Life Logo By Alex Daniel of Best Life | Slide 1 of 14: If the president steps down or dies, who takes over? Well, the vice president, of course. Okay, but what if the vice president steps down or dies? Well, that's when the Speaker of the House steps in. Okay, but what if…?As you can see, the presidential line of succession can get murky, fast. And it's by no means written in stone. Today, the presidential line of succession is 18 people deep. After the president, it goes (deep breath) vice president, Speaker of the House, President pro tempore of the Senate, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and, finally, the Secretary of Homeland Security. (Phew.)But, as with all things in U.S. politics, the line of succession isn't as straightforward as it seems. Over the years, it's constantly been in flux; the laws around it have morphed, and it remains hotly debated in some niche political quarters. In other words, it's not just the world's most exclusive VIP list. It's a political minefield in its own right. And for more savvy political trivia, get a load of the 30 Craziest Things U.S. Presidents Have Done.

13 Surprising Facts About the Presidential Line of Succession

If the president steps down or dies, who takes over? Well, the vice president, of course. Okay, but what if the vice president steps down or dies? Well, that's when the Speaker of the House steps in. Okay, but what if…?

As you can see, the presidential line of succession can get murky, fast. And it's by no means written in stone. Today, the presidential line of succession is 18 people deep. After the president, it goes (deep breath) vice president, Speaker of the House, President pro tempore of the Senate, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and, finally, the Secretary of Homeland Security. (Phew.)

But, as with all things in U.S. politics, the line of succession isn't as straightforward as it seems. Over the years, it's constantly been in flux; the laws around it have morphed, and it remains hotly debated in some niche political quarters. In other words, it's not just the world's most exclusive VIP list. It's a political minefield in its own right. And for more savvy political trivia, get a load of the 30 Craziest Things U.S. Presidents Have Done.

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