Energy Secretary Rick Perry Named Designated Survivor

The Associated Press
AP
KATHERINE RODRIGUEZ

Energy Secretary Rick Perry has been named the “designated survivor” for Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

Perry, who used to serve as the governor of Texas, became the head of the Department of Energy in March 2017.

Perry will not attend President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address at the Capitol and will remain at a secure, undisclosed location throughout the address.

The president picks one Cabinet member each year to be the “designated survivor” during the State of the Union address in case a disaster or attack incapacitates the top government officials gathered at the Capitol.

In 2018, Trump selected Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue as the designated survivor for the 2018 State of the Union address.

The pool of eligible Cabinet officials to take on the role of designated survivor narrowed this year, due to the number of vacancies in Trump’s cabinet.

Only U.S. citizens and Cabinet members confirmed by the Senate can serve in the role, according to the Presidential Succession Act. Out of the 15 Cabinet positions eligible for the position under federal law, three Cabinet members were ineligible because they are acting secretaries.

One cabinet member, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, is ineligible under the constitution because she was not a U.S. citizen at birth.

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