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A motion to amend the resolution to strike out "President" and insert "Vice President now exercising the office of President," May 31, 1841

John Tyler was the first vice president to become chief executive upon the death of the president. Since Tyler was not elected president, Congress considered whether he should be referred to as “Vice President exercising the office of the President.” Some called him an “accidental president.” Tyler insisted he had full presidential authority, but a hostile relationship with Congress impeded his administration.

Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives and Records Administration

A motion to amend the resolution to strike out "President" and insert "Vice President now exercising the office of President," May 31, 1841 A motion to amend the resolution to strike out "President" and insert "Vice President now exercising the office of President," May 31, 1841

President Tyler Strikes Out

President John Tyler’s presidency set a record for unsuccessful nominations for the cabinet (four) and Supreme Court (eight). Elected vice president, Tyler succeeded to the presidency when President William Henry Harrison unexpectedly died. Tyler had a contentious relationship with Congress, and his positions on tariffs and the national bank particularly alienated powerful senators. On the final day of the 27th Congress (1841–1843), the Senate rejected Tyler’s choice of Caleb Cushing for secretary of the treasury three times.

A president cannot assume the Senate’s deference to nominations to executive offices. In 1843 the Senate rejected President John Tyler’s efforts to make Caleb Cushing secretary of the treasury through repeated nominations.