Thursday, April 12, 2018

Reminder: You Don't Have to Be A US Congressman To Become Speaker

Image result for constitutionThe Constitution does not require the Speaker to be an elected member of the House of Representatives or Senate, although every Speaker thus far has been a member of the House of Representatives.[3][4] The Speaker is second in the United States presidential line of succession, after the Vice President and ahead of the President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate.[5]The Constitution dictates “the House of Representatives shall [choose] their Speaker and other Officers,” but it does not stipulate that you have to be a sitting member of Congress to run for the leadership position.
The House of Representatives elects the Speaker of the House on the first day of every new Congress and in the event of the death, resignation or removal from the Chair of an incumbent Speaker.[6] The Clerk of the House of Representatives requests nominations: there are normally two, one from each major party (each party having previously met to decide on its nominee). The Clerk then calls the roll of the Representatives, each Representative indicating the surname of the candidate the Representative is supporting. Representatives are not restricted to voting for one of the nominated candidates and may vote for any person, even for someone who is not a member of the House at all. They may also abstain by voting "present".[7]
Although no rule exists, based on tradition and practice from the earliest days of the nation, to be elected speaker a candidate must receive an absolute majority of all votes cast for individuals, i.e. excluding those who abstain. If no candidate wins such a majority, then the roll call is repeated until a speaker is elected. The last time repeated votes were required was in 1923, when the Speaker was elected on the ninth ballot.[7]
The new Speaker is then sworn in by the Dean of the United States House of Representatives, the chamber's longest-serving member.
In modern practice, the Speaker is chosen by the majority party from among its senior leaders either when a vacancy in the office arrives or when the majority party changes. Previous Speakers have been minority leaders (when the majority party changes, as they are already the House party leader, and as the minority leader are usually their party's nominee for Speaker), or majority leaders (upon departure of the current Speaker in the majority party), assuming that the party leadership hierarchy is followed. In the past, other candidates have included chairpersons of influential standing committees.