President Bush has resumed his presidential duties after temporarily ceding power to Vice President Dick Cheney for several hours while Mr. Bush underwent a medical procedure.

A temporary transfer of authority at times when the president is temporarily unable to carry out his duties is authorized by the U.S. Constitution.

Mr. Bush was sedated Saturday while doctors performed a colonoscopy - an examination of the intestinal tract carried out as a precautionary check for signs of cancer. The procedure is common in the Unitred States, among people 50 years or older.

During the exam, the president's doctors cut and removed five polyps - small internal growths that could become cancerous in the future. They are examining the polyps' cell structure to see if Mr. Bush will require any further treatment.

The transfer of power from Mr. Bush to Cheney lasted a little more than two hours during the colonoscopy, which took place at Camp David, the presidential retreat in a forest park north of the U.S. capital.

Mr. Bush last underwent a colonoscopy in 2002, and the vice president took up presidential powers briefly on that occasion as well.

A formal transfer of power from an incapacitated president to his deputy first occurred in 1985, when President Ronald Reagan was undergoing surgery. Authority over the White House was delegated at that time to current president's father, former President George H.W. Bush, who was Mr. Reagan's vice president.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, and AP.