Rick Perry is the designated survivor during SOTU address

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is ‘designated survivor’ during State of the Union

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is ‘designated survivor’ during State of the Union

Rick Perry, the Trump administration's energy secretary, is the designated survivor on Tuesday during President Donald Trump's State of the Union address.

As is customary, the president selects one cabinet member to hide in an undisclosed location during his address in case a catastrophe occurs in the House chamber. Only Senate-confirmed secretaries (and natural-born citizens) in the line of succession to the presidency can assume control of government in a crisis. A different Cabinet member typically handles the task each year, with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue serving the role during last year's address.

The tradition of keeping at least one cabinet member away from the State of the Union Address has been explored by the world of entertainment.

But this year, the pool of eligible survivors is a bit shorter than usual due to multiple vacancies in the president's cabinet.

Of the 15 executive department heads specified under the law as being eligible, three are now headed by acting leadership, and another is constitutionally ineligible.

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