The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives. The office was established in 1789 by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution. The Speaker is the political and parliamentary leader of the House of Representatives, and is simultaneously the House's presiding officer, de facto leader of the body's majority party, and the institution's administrative head. Speakers also perform various other administrative and procedural functions. Given these several roles and responsibilities, the Speaker usually does not personally preside over debates. That duty is instead delegated to members of the House from the majority party. Neither does the Speaker regularly participate in floor debates.
The Constitution does not require the Speaker to be an incumbent member of the House of Representatives, although every Speaker thus far has been. 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 Senate.
The current House Speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi of California, was elected to the office on January 3, 2019. Pelosi previously served as speaker from January 4, 2007 to January 3, 2011. She has the distinction of being the first woman to serve as Speaker, and is also the first former Speaker to be returned to office since Sam Rayburn in 1955.
|Speaker of the United States House of Representatives|
Seal of the Speaker
Flag of the Speaker
since January 3, 2019
|United States House of Representatives|
|Seat||United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.|
|Nominator||Major parties (normally)|
|Term length||At the House's pleasure; elected at the beginning of the new Congress by a majority of the representatives-elect, and upon a vacancy during a Congress.|
|Constituting instrument||United States Constitution|
|Formation||March 4, 1789|
|First holder||Frederick Muhlenberg|
April 1, 1789
|Succession||Second (3 U.S.C. § 19)|
|Deputy||Speaker pro tempore|
The House elects its speaker at the beginning of a new Congress (i.e. biennially, after a general election) or when a speaker dies, resigns or is removed from the position intra-term. Since 1839, the House has elected speakers by roll call vote. Traditionally, each party's caucus or conference selects a candidate for the speakership from among its senior leaders prior to the roll call. Representatives are not restricted to voting for the candidate nominated by their party, but generally do, as the outcome of the election effectively determines which party has the majority and consequently will organize the House. Moreover, as the Constitution does not explicitly state that the speaker must be an incumbent member of the House, it is permissible for representatives to vote for someone who is not a member of the House at the time, and non-members have received a few votes in various speaker elections over the past several years. Nevertheless, every person elected speaker has been a member.
Representatives that choose to vote for someone other than their party's nominated candidate usually vote for someone else in their party or vote "present". Anyone who votes for the other party's candidate would face serious consequences, as was the case when Democrat Jim Traficant voted for Republican Dennis Hastert in 2001 (107th Congress). In response, the Democrats stripped him of his seniority and he lost all of his committee posts.
To be elected speaker a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes cast, as opposed to an absolute majority of the full membership of the House – presently 218 votes, in a House of 435. There have only been a few instances during the past century where a person received a majority of the votes cast, and thus won the election, while failing to obtain a majority of the full membership. It happened most recently in 2015 (114th Congress), when John Boehner was elected with 216 votes (as opposed to 218). Such a variation in the number of votes necessary to win a given election might arise due to vacancies, absentees, or members being present but not voting. If no candidate wins a majority of the "votes cast for a person by name", then the roll call is repeated until a speaker is elected. Multiple roll calls have been necessary only 14 times (out of 125 speakership elections) since 1789; and not since 1923 (68th Congress), when a closely divided House needed nine ballots to elect Frederick H. Gillett speaker. Upon winning election the new Speaker is immediately sworn in by the Dean of the United States House of Representatives, the chamber's longest-serving member.
The first Speaker of the House, Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania, was elected to office on April 1, 1789, the day the House organized itself at the start of the 1st Congress. He served two non-consecutive terms in the Speaker's chair, 1789–1791 (1st Congress) and 1793–1795 (3rd Congress).
As the Constitution does not state the duties of the Speaker, the speaker’s role has largely been shaped by traditions and customs that evolved over time. A partisan position from early in its existence, the speakership began to gain power in legislative development under Henry Clay (1811–1814, 1815–1820, and 1823–1825). In contrast to many of his predecessors, Clay participated in several debates, and used his influence to procure the passage of measures he supported—for instance, the declaration of the War of 1812, and various laws relating to Clay's "American System" economic plan. Furthermore, when no candidate received an Electoral College majority in the 1824 presidential election causing the President to be elected by the House, Speaker Clay threw his support to John Quincy Adams instead of Andrew Jackson, thereby ensuring Adams' victory. Following Clay's retirement in 1825, the power of the speakership once again began to decline, despite speakership elections becoming increasingly bitter. As the Civil War approached, several sectional factions nominated their own candidates, often making it difficult for any candidate to attain a majority. In 1855 and again in 1859, for example, the contest for Speaker lasted for two months before the House achieved a result. During this time, Speakers tended to have very short tenures. For example, from 1839 to 1863 there were eleven Speakers, only one of whom served for more than one term. To date, James K. Polk is the only Speaker of the House later elected President of the United States.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the office of Speaker began to develop into a very powerful one. At the time, one of the most important sources of the Speaker's power was his position as Chairman of the Committee on Rules, which, after the reorganization of the committee system in 1880, became one of the most powerful standing committees of the House. Furthermore, several Speakers became leading figures in their political parties; examples include Democrats Samuel J. Randall, John Griffin Carlisle, and Charles F. Crisp, and Republicans James G. Blaine, Thomas Brackett Reed, and Joseph Gurney Cannon.
The power of the Speaker was greatly augmented during the tenure of the Republican Thomas Brackett Reed (1889–1891, 1895–1899). "Czar Reed", as he was called by his opponents, sought to end the obstruction of bills by the minority, in particular by countering the tactic known as the "disappearing quorum". By refusing to vote on a motion, the minority could ensure that a quorum would not be achieved, and that the result would be invalid. Reed, however, declared that members who were in the chamber but refused to vote would still count for the purposes of determining a quorum. Through these and other rulings, Reed ensured that the Democrats could not block the Republican agenda.
The speakership reached its apogee during the term of Republican Joseph Gurney Cannon (1903–1911). Cannon exercised extraordinary control over the legislative process. He determined the agenda of the House, appointed the members of all committees, chose committee chairmen, headed the Rules Committee, and determined which committee heard each bill. He vigorously used his powers to ensure that Republican proposals were passed by the House. In 1910, however, Democrats and several dissatisfied Republicans joined together to strip Cannon of many of his powers, including the ability to name committee members and his chairmanship of the Rules Committee. Fifteen years later, Speaker Nicholas Longworth restored much, but not all, of the lost influence of the position.
One of the most influential Speakers in history was Democrat Sam Rayburn. Rayburn was the longest-serving Speaker in history, holding office from 1940 to 1947, 1949 to 1953, and 1955 to 1961. He helped shape many bills, working quietly in the background with House committees. He also helped ensure the passage of several domestic measures and foreign assistance programs advocated by Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Rayburn's successor, Democrat John W. McCormack (served 1962–1971), was a somewhat less influential speaker, particularly because of dissent from younger members of the Democratic Party. During the mid-1970s, the power of the speakership once again grew under Democrat Carl Albert. The Committee on Rules ceased to be a semi-independent panel, as it had been since 1910. Instead, it once again became an arm of the party leadership. Moreover, in 1975, the Speaker was granted the authority to appoint a majority of the members of the Rules Committee. Meanwhile, the power of committee chairmen was curtailed, further increasing the relative influence of the Speaker.
Albert's successor, Democrat Tip O'Neill, was a prominent Speaker because of his public opposition to the policies of President Ronald Reagan. O'Neill is the longest continually serving Speaker, from 1977 through 1987. He challenged Reagan on domestic programs and on defense expenditures. Republicans made O'Neill the target of their election campaigns in 1980 and 1982 but Democrats managed to retain their majorities in both years.
The roles of the parties reversed in 1994 when, after spending forty years in the minority, the Republicans regained control of the House with the "Contract with America", an idea spearheaded by Minority Whip Newt Gingrich. Speaker Gingrich would regularly clash with Democratic President Bill Clinton, leading to the United States federal government shutdown of 1995 and 1996, in which Clinton was largely seen to have prevailed. Gingrich's hold on the leadership was weakened significantly by that and several other controversies, and he faced a caucus revolt in 1997. After the Republicans lost House seats in 1998 (although retaining a majority) he did not stand for a third term as Speaker. His successor, Dennis Hastert, had been chosen as a compromise candidate, since the other Republicans in the leadership were more controversial. Hastert played a much less prominent role than other contemporary Speakers, being overshadowed by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and President George W. Bush. The Republicans came out of the 2000 elections with a further reduced majority but made small gains in 2002 and 2004. The periods of 2001–2002 and 2003–2007 were the first times since 1953–1955 that there was single-party Republican leadership in Washington, interrupted from 2001–2003 as Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont left the Republican Party to become independent and caucused with Senate Democrats to give them a 51–49 majority.
In the 2006 midterm elections, the Democrats won a majority in the House. Nancy Pelosi became Speaker when the 110th Congress convened on January 4, 2007, making her the first woman to hold the office. With the election of Barack Obama as President and Democratic gains in both houses of Congress, Pelosi became the first Speaker since Tom Foley to hold the office during single-party Democratic leadership in Washington. During the 111th Congress, Pelosi was the driving force behind several of Obama's major initiatives that proved controversial, and the Republicans campaigned against the Democrats' legislation by staging a "Fire Pelosi" bus tour and regained control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections. House Minority Leader John Boehner was elected as Speaker.
Historically, if the Speaker's party loses control of the House in an election, and if the Speaker and Majority Leader both remain in the leadership hierarchy, they would become the Minority Leader and Minority Whip, respectively. As the minority party has historically had one less leadership position after losing the Speaker's chair, there may be a contest for the remaining leadership positions; upon losing control of the House after the 2010 election, the Democrats created the position of Assistant Democratic Leader in order to prevent such a contest. Most Speakers whose party has lost control of the House have not returned to the party leadership (Tom Foley lost his seat, Dennis Hastert returned to the backbenches and resigned from the House in late 2007). However, Speakers Joseph William Martin, Jr. and Sam Rayburn did seek the post of Minority Leader in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Nancy Pelosi is the most recent example of an outgoing Speaker who was elected Minority Leader, after the Democrats lost control of the House in the 2010 elections.
Historically, there have been several controversial elections to the speakership, such as the contest of 1839. In that case, even though the 26th United States Congress convened on December 2, the House could not begin the speakership election until December 14 because of an election dispute in New Jersey known as the "Broad Seal War". Two rival delegations, one Whig and the other Democrat, had been certified as elected by different branches of the New Jersey government. The problem was compounded by the fact that the result of the dispute would determine whether the Whigs or the Democrats held the majority. Neither party agreed to permit a speakership election with the opposite party's delegation participating. Finally, it was agreed to exclude both delegations from the election and a Speaker was finally chosen on December 17.
Another, more prolonged fight occurred in 1855 in the 34th United States Congress. The old Whig Party had collapsed but no single party had emerged to replace it. Candidates opposing the Democrats had run under a bewildering variety of labels, including Whig, Republican, American (Know Nothing), and simply "Opposition". By the time Congress actually met in December 1855, most of the northerners were concentrated together as Republicans, while most of the southerners and a few northerners used the American or Know Nothing label. Opponents of the Democrats held a majority in House, with the party makeup of the 234 Representatives being 83 Democrats, 108 Republicans, and 43 Know Nothings (primarily southern oppositionists). The Democratic minority nominated William Alexander Richardson of Illinois as Speaker, but because of sectional distrust, the various oppositionists were unable to agree on a single candidate for Speaker. The Republicans supported Nathaniel Prentiss Banks of Massachusetts, who had been elected as a Know Nothing but was now largely identified with the Republicans. The southern Know Nothings supported first Humphrey Marshall of Kentucky, and then Henry M. Fuller of Pennsylvania. The voting went on for almost two months with no candidate able to secure a majority, until it was finally agreed to elect the Speaker by plurality vote, and Banks was elected. The House found itself in a similar dilemma when the 36th Congress met in December 1859. Although the Republicans held a plurality, the Republican candidate, John Sherman, was unacceptable to southern oppositionists due to his anti-slavery views, and once again the House was unable to elect a Speaker. After Democrats allied with southern oppositionists to nearly elect the North Carolina oppositionist William N. H. Smith, Sherman finally withdrew in favor of compromise candidate William Pennington of New Jersey, a former Whig of unclear partisan loyalties, who was finally elected Speaker at the end of January 1860.
The last speakership elections in which the House had to vote more than once occurred in the 65th and 72nd United States Congress. In 1917, neither the Republican nor the Democratic candidate could attain a majority because three members of the Progressive Party and other individual members of other parties voted for their own party. The Republicans had a plurality in the House but James "Champ" Clark remained Speaker of the House because of the support of the Progressive Party members. In 1931, both the Republicans and the Democrats had 217 members with the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party having one member who served as the deciding vote. The Farmer-Labor Party eventually voted for the Democrats' candidate for Speaker, John Nance Garner, who later became Vice President under Franklin Roosevelt.
In 1997, several Republican congressional leaders tried to force Speaker Newt Gingrich to resign. However, Gingrich refused since that would have required a new election for Speaker, which could have led to Democrats along with dissenting Republicans voting for Democrat Dick Gephardt (then Minority Leader) as Speaker. After the 1998 midterm elections where the Republicans lost seats, Gingrich did not stand for re-election. The next two figures in the House Republican leadership hierarchy, Majority Leader Richard Armey and Majority Whip Tom DeLay, chose not to run for the office. The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Bob Livingston, declared his bid for the speakership, which was unopposed, making him Speaker-designate. It was then revealed, by Livingston himself, who had been publicly critical of President Bill Clinton's perjury during his sexual harassment trial, that he had engaged in an extramarital affair. He opted to resign from the House, despite being urged to stay on by House Democratic leader Gephardt. Subsequently, chief deputy whip Dennis Hastert was selected as Speaker. The Republicans retained their majorities in the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections.
The Democrats won a majority of seats in the 2006 midterm elections. On November 16, 2006, Nancy Pelosi, who was then Minority Leader, was selected as Speaker-designate by House Democrats. When the 110th Congress convened on January 4, 2007, she was elected as the 52nd Speaker by a vote of 233–202, becoming the first woman elected Speaker of the House. Pelosi remained Speaker through the 111th Congress. For the 112th Congress, Republican John Boehner was unanimously designated Speaker-designate by House Republicans and was elected the 53rd Speaker of the House. As a show of dissent, nineteen Democratic representatives voted for Democrats other than Pelosi, who had been chosen as House Minority Leader and the Democrats' candidate for Speaker.
The Constitution does not spell out the political role of the Speaker. As the office has developed historically, however, it has taken on a clearly partisan cast, very different from the speakership of most Westminster-style legislatures, such as the Speaker of the British House of Commons, which is meant to be scrupulously non-partisan. The Speaker in the United States, by tradition, is the head of the majority party in the House of Representatives, outranking the Majority Leader. However, despite having the right to vote, the Speaker usually does not participate in debate.
The Speaker is responsible for ensuring that the House passes legislation supported by the majority party. In pursuing this goal, the Speaker may use their power to determine when each bill reaches the floor. They also chair the majority party's steering committee in the House. While the Speaker is the functioning head of the House majority party, the same is not true of the President pro tempore of the Senate, whose office is primarily ceremonial and honorary.
When the Speaker and the President belong to the same party, the Speaker tends to play the role in a more ceremonial light, as seen when Dennis Hastert played a very low-key role during the presidency of fellow Republican George W. Bush. Nevertheless, when the Speaker and the President belong to the same party, there are also times that the Speaker plays a much larger role, and the Speaker is tasked, e.g., with pushing through the agenda of the majority party, often at the expense of the minority opposition. This can be seen, most of all, in the speakership of Democratic-Republican Henry Clay, who personally ensured the presidential victory of fellow Democratic-Republican John Quincy Adams. Democrat Sam Rayburn was a key player in the passing of New Deal legislation under the presidency of fellow Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Republican Joseph Gurney Cannon (under Theodore Roosevelt) was particularly infamous for his marginalization of the minority Democrats and centralizing of authority to the speakership. In more recent times, Speaker Nancy Pelosi played a role in continuing the push for health care reform during the presidency of fellow Democrat Barack Obama.
On the other hand, when the Speaker and the President belong to opposite parties, the public role and influence of the Speaker tend to increase. As the highest-ranking member of the opposition party (and de facto Leader of the Opposition), the Speaker is normally the chief public opponent of the President's agenda. In this scenario, the Speaker is known for undercutting the President's agenda by blocking measures by the minority party or rejecting bills by the Senate. One famous instance came in the form of Thomas Brackett Reed (under Grover Cleveland), a Speaker notorious for his successful attempt to force the Democrats to vote on measures where the Republicans had clear majorities, which ensured that Cleveland's Democrats were in no position to challenge the Republicans in the House. Joseph Cannon was particularly unique in that he led the conservative "Old Guard" wing of the Republican Party, while his President – Theodore Roosevelt – was of the more progressive clique, and more than just marginalizing the Democrats, Cannon used his power to punish the dissidents in his party and obstruct the progressive wing of the Republican Party.
More modern examples include Tip O'Neill, who was a vocal opponent of President Ronald Reagan's economic and defense policies; Newt Gingrich, who fought a bitter battle with President Bill Clinton for control of domestic policy; Nancy Pelosi, who argued with President George W. Bush over the Iraq War and later argued with President Donald Trump over funding for a border wall; and John Boehner, who clashed with President Barack Obama over budget issues and health care.
As presiding officer of the House of Representatives, the Speaker holds a variety of powers over the House and is ceremonially the highest-ranking legislative official in the US government. The Speaker may delegate their powers to a member of the House to act as Speaker pro tempore and preside over the House in the Speaker's absence; when this has occurred the delegation has always been to a member of the same party. During important debates, the Speaker pro tempore is ordinarily a senior member of the majority party who may be chosen for his or her skill in presiding. At other times, more junior members may be assigned to preside to give them experience with the rules and procedures of the House. The Speaker may also designate, with approval of the House, a Speaker pro tempore for special purposes, such as designating a Representative whose district is near Washington, D.C. to sign enrolled bills during long recesses.
Under the Rules of the House, the Speaker, "as soon as practicable after the election of the Speaker and whenever appropriate thereafter", must deliver to the Clerk of the House a confidential list of Members who are designated to act as Speaker in the case of a vacancy or physical inability of the Speaker to perform their duties.
On the floor of the House, the presiding officer is always addressed as "Mister Speaker" or "Madam Speaker", even if it is a Speaker pro tempore, and not the Speaker themselves. When the House resolves itself into a Committee of the Whole, the Speaker designates a member to preside over the Committee as the Chairman, who is addressed as "Mister Chairman" or "Madam Chairwoman". To speak, members must seek the presiding officer's recognition. The presiding officer also rules on all points of order but such rulings may be appealed to the whole House. The Speaker is responsible for maintaining decorum in the House and may order the Sergeant-at-Arms to enforce House rules.
The Speaker's powers and duties extend beyond presiding in the chamber. In particular, the Speaker has great influence over the committee process. The Speaker selects nine of the thirteen members of the powerful Committee on Rules, subject to the approval of the entire majority party. The leadership of the minority party chooses the remaining four members. Furthermore, the Speaker appoints all members of select committees and conference committees. Moreover, when a bill is introduced, the Speaker determines which committee will consider it. As a member of the House, the Speaker is entitled to participate in debate and to vote. Ordinarily, the Speaker votes only when the Speaker's vote would be decisive or on matters of great importance, such as constitutional amendments or major legislation.
In addition to being the political and parliamentary leader of the House of Representatives and representing their congressional district, the speaker also perform various other administrative and procedural functions, such as:
Additionally, the speaker is second in the presidential line of succession under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, immediately after the vice president and before the president pro tempore of the Senate (who is followed by members of the president's Cabinet). Thus, if both the presidency and vice-presidency were vacant simultaneously, then the speaker would become acting president, after resigning from the House and as speaker.
Ratification of the Twenty-fifth Amendment in 1967, with its mechanism for filling an intra-term vice presidential vacancy, has made calling on the speaker, president pro tempore, or a cabinet member to serve as acting president unlikely to happen, except in the aftermath of a catastrophic event. However, only a few years after it went into effect, in October 1973, at the height of Watergate, Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned. With Agnew's unexpected departure, and the state of Richard Nixon's presidency, Speaker of the House Carl Albert was suddenly first in line to become acting president. The vacancy continued until Gerald Ford was sworn in as vice president on December 6, 1973. Albert was also next in line from the time Ford assumed the presidency on August 9, 1974, following Nixon's resignation from office, until Ford's choice to succeed him as vice president, Nelson Rockefeller, was confirmed by Congress four months later.
To be elected as Speaker of the House, a candidate must receive a majority of all votes cast for individuals (as opposed to a majority of the full membership, as some representatives may not be present to vote or may instead answer "present" rather than voting for anyone). The most recent speakership election took place on January 3, 2019, the opening day of the 116th United States Congress. Nancy Pelosi, who had previously served as speaker during the 110th (2007–2009) and 111th (2009–2011) congresses, won the election. She secured 220 votes to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy's 192 votes, with 18 more going to others. As 430 representatives cast a vote, the majority needed to win was 216.
|2019 Speaker of the House election|
|Nancy Pelosi (D–California)||220||51.17%|
|Kevin McCarthy (R–California)||192||44.66%|
|Jim Jordan (R–Ohio)||5||1.16%|
|Cheri Bustos (D–Illinois)||4||0.93%|
|Tammy Duckworth[a] (D)||2||0.47%|
|Stacey Abrams[a] (D)||1||0.23%|
|Joe Biden[a] (D)||1||0.23%|
|Marcia Fudge (D–Ohio)||1||0.23%|
|Joe Kennedy III (D–Massachusetts)||1||0.23%|
|John Lewis (D–Georgia)||1||0.23%|
|Thomas Massie (R–Kentucky)||1||0.23%|
|Stephanie Murphy (D–Florida)||1||0.23%|
|Also: 3–answered present; 1–not voting
|U.S. presidential line of succession|
|2nd in line||Succeeded by|
President pro tempore of the Senate
The 1932 United States presidential election in Wyoming took place on November 8, 1932, as part of the 1932 United States presidential election. Wyoming voters chose three representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Wyoming was won by the 44nd Governor of New York Franklin D. Roosevelt (D–New York (state)), running with the 39th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John Nance Garner, with 56.07 percent of the popular vote, against the 31st President of the United States Herbert Hoover (R–Iowa), running with 31st Vice President of the United States Charles Curtis, with 40.82 percent of the popular vote. As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Johnson County and Crook County have voted for a Democratic presidential candidate.1974 Georgia's 6th congressional district election
The 1974 United States House of Representatives election in Georgia's 6th congressional district was the election for the Representative of Georgia's 6th district to the United States House of Representatives which was held on November 4, 1974. This election is notable for being the beginning of a political career of a then-little known professor from the University of West Georgia and future Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich.
Incumbent Representative John J. Flynt in his previous nine runs had never faced any serious challenge, winning re-election in 1972 without any formal opposition. However, in 1974, he was nearly defeated by political newcomer Newt Gingrich. This came as a considerable surprise. Flynt was known as one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, and 1974 was a very poor year for Republicans nationally due to fallout from Watergate. Gingrich would face Flynt in another close race in 1976, but come short again. Flynt would retire in 1978 rather than fight another close match (and possibly unsuccessful re-election bid) with Gingrich, thus finally giving Republicans a victory in a district that had not elected a Republican to the House of Representatives since Reconstruction.2019 Speaker of the United States House of Representatives election
The 2019 Speaker of the United States House of Representatives election took place on January 3, 2019, on the opening day of the 116th United States Congress, two months after the United States 2018 elections. This was 125th Speaker of the House of Representatives election since the office was created in 1789. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi received 220 votes, or just over a majority of the chamber, to become its speaker. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy garnered 192 votes, with 18 more going to others. As only 430 representatives in the 435-member House cast a vote (due to vacancies, absentees, or members being present but not voting), 216 votes were necessary in order to win.
Immediately after the election, the Dean of the United States House of Representatives, Don Young, administered the oath of office to the new speaker. Pelosi in turn administered the oath of office en masse to the rest of the members of the United States House of Representatives.
Incumbent speaker Paul Ryan did not run for re-election to the House. With the Democratic caucus assuming control of the House in January 2019, Pelosi had been the presumptive Speaker since the incoming House Democratic Caucus formally nominated her the previous November.Cannon House Office Building
The Cannon House Office Building, often called the "Old House Office Building," completed in 1908, is the oldest congressional office building as well as a significant example of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture. It occupies a site south of the United States Capitol bounded by Independence Avenue, First Street, New Jersey Avenue, and C Street S.E. In 1962 the building was named for former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Joseph Gurney Cannon.Carlisle County, Kentucky
Carlisle County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,104, making it the fourth-least populous county in Kentucky. Its county seat is Bardwell. The county was founded in 1886 and named for John Griffin Carlisle, a Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky. Carlisle County is a prohibition or dry county.House Office Building Commission
The House Office Building Commission is an entity within the House of Representatives of the United States that oversees the various functions of the House and its office buildings. These buildings are part of the overall United States Capitol Complex and house the offices of Members of Congress, the Committees of the House, garages, cafeterias, a power plant and a dorm for Congressional pages, among many others that serve various functions.
The Commission oversees the operations of these buildings and from time to time issues regulations. While the Superintendent of the House and the Architect of the Capitol handle the day-to-day operations, rules and regulations must be approved by the Commission.
It is composed of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and two other members of Congress, generally the House Majority Leader and the House Minority Leader.
From the House Rules Manual:
"The commission also issues regulations governing the House Congressional office buildings, House garages, and the Capitol Power Plant (see regulations promulgated December, 1995). The commission is composed of the Speaker and two Members of the House (traditionally the Majority and Minority Leaders) (40 U.S.C. 175)."Recently the HOBC approved a new policy related to the hallways in House Office Buildings: Previously, offices were allowed to set out displays, in particular pictures of troops killed in battle in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also things like debt clocks and indications of levels of deficits.
The new policy prohibits such displays. The role of the HOBC was to approve a policy proposed by the Architect of the Capitol and recommended by various other agencies, such as the Committee on House Administration of the House.James Lawrence Orr
James Lawrence Orr (May 12, 1822 – May 5, 1873) was an American diplomat and politician who served as the 22nd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1857 to 1859. He also served as the 73rd Governor of South Carolina from 1865 to 1868 after a term in the Confederate States Senate.John Boehner
John Andrew Boehner ( BAY-nər; born November 17, 1949) is an American politician who served as the 53rd speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2011 to 2015. A member of the Republican Party, he was the U.S. Representative for Ohio's 8th congressional district from 1991 to 2015. The district included several rural and suburban areas near Cincinnati and Dayton.
Boehner previously served as the House Minority Leader from 2007 until 2011, and House Majority Leader from 2006 until 2007. Boehner resigned from the House of Representatives in October 2015 due to opposition from within the Republican caucus.
In September 2016, Squire Patton Boggs, the third largest lobbying firm in the U.S., announced that Boehner would join their firm. It was also announced that Boehner would become a board member of Reynolds American, the second biggest tobacco firm in the U.S., for an estimated annual salary of $400,000.John Nance Garner
John Nance Garner III (November 22, 1868 – November 7, 1967), known among his contemporaries as "Cactus Jack", was an American Democratic politician and lawyer from Texas. He was the 32nd vice president of the United States, serving from 1933 to 1941. He was also the 39th speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1931 to 1933. Along with Schuyler Colfax, Garner is one of only two individuals to serve as Vice President of the United States and Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
Garner began his political career as the county judge of Uvalde County, Texas. He served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1898 to 1902 and won election to represent Texas in the United States House of Representatives in 1902. He represented Texas's 15th congressional district from 1903 to 1933. Garner served as House Minority Leader from 1929 to 1931, and was elevated to Speaker of the House when Democrats won control of the House following the 1930 elections.
Garner sought the Democratic presidential nomination in the 1932 presidential election, but he agreed to serve as Franklin D. Roosevelt's running mate at the 1932 Democratic National Convention. Roosevelt and Garner won the 1932 election and were re-elected in 1936. A conservative Southerner, Garner opposed the sit-down strikes of the labor unions and the New Deal's deficit spending. He broke with Roosevelt in early 1937 over the issue of enlarging the Supreme Court, and helped defeat it on the grounds that it centralized too much power in the President's hands. Garner again sought the presidency in the 1940 presidential election, but Roosevelt won the party's presidential nomination at the 1940 Democratic National Convention. Garner was replaced as Vice President by Henry A. Wallace and retired from public office in 1941.Johnny DeStefano
John DeStefano is an Assistant to President Donald Trump and Counselor to the President. He oversees the Office of Presidential Personnel, Office of Political Affairs, and Office of Public Liaison. DeStefano entered the administration as the Director of Presidential Personnel.Prior to his current position, DeStefano worked for Ohio Republican Congressman John Boehner. From 2007 to 2011, he was Boehner's political director. From 2011 to 2013, when Boehner was Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, DeStefano served as Boehner's senior advisor. DeStefano also worked with the Republican National Committee building "a 2016 voter file and political database."List of Speaker of the United States House of Representatives elections
In the United States Congress, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives elections are held when the House of Representatives first convenes after a general election, or when a Speaker of the House dies, resigns or is removed from the position intra-term. There have been 125 elections for speaker since the office was created in 1789. The speaker is the political and parliamentary leader of the House, and is simultaneously the body's presiding officer, the de facto leader of the body's majority party, and the institution's administrative head.Since 1839, the House has elected its speaker by roll call vote. Traditionally, each party's caucus or conference selects a candidate for the speakership from among its senior leaders prior to the roll call. To be elected speaker a candidate must receive an absolute majority of all the votes cast for individuals (i.e. the number needed to win might be less than a majority of the full membership of the House due to vacancies, absentees, or members present but not voting). If no candidate wins such a majority, then the roll call is repeated until a speaker is elected. In the longest speaker election in House history, 133 ballots (cast over a two month period) were needed before representatives chose Nathaniel Banks as their presiding officer for the 34th Congress (1855–1857). Multiple roll calls have been necessary only 14 times since 1789; and not since 1923.Representatives are not restricted to voting for the candidate nominated by their party, but generally do, as the outcome of the election effectively determines which party has the majority and consequently will organize the House. Additionally, as the U.S. Constitution does not explicitly state that the speaker must be an incumbent member of the House, it is permissible for representatives to vote for someone who is not a member of the House at the time, and non-members have received a few votes in various speaker elections over the past several years. Nevertheless, every person elected speaker has been a member.Altogether, 54 people have served as speaker over the past 229 years; 32 of them served multiple terms (seven of those served nonconsecutive terms). Sam Rayburn holds the record for electoral victories, with 10; he led the House from September 1940 to January 1947, January 1949 to January 1953, and January 1955 to November 1961. In most recent election for speaker, held January 3, 2019, the first day of the 116th Congress, members elected Nancy Pelosi to the office; she had previously led the House from January 2007 to January 2011.Newt Gingrich
Newton Leroy Gingrich (; né McPherson, June 17, 1943) is an American politician who served as the 50th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. A member of the Republican Party, he was the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 6th congressional district from 1979 until his resignation in 1999. In 2012, Gingrich was a candidate for the presidential nomination of his party.
A teacher of history and geography at the University of West Georgia in the 1970s, Gingrich won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 1978, the first Republican in the history of Georgia's 6th congressional district to do so. He served as House Minority Whip from 1989 to 1995. A co-author and architect of the "Contract with America", Gingrich was a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional election. In 1995, Time named him "Man of the Year" for "his role in ending the four-decades-long Democratic majority in the House".As House Speaker, Gingrich oversaw passage by the House of welfare reform and a capital gains tax cut in 1997. Gingrich played a key role in several government shutdowns, and impeached President Clinton on a party-line vote in the House. The poor showing by Republicans in the 1998 Congressional elections, a reprimand from the House for Gingrich's ethics violation, pressure from Republican colleagues, and revelations of an extramarital affair with a congressional employee 23 years his junior resulted in Gingrich's resignation from the speakership on November 6, 1998. He resigned altogether from the House on January 3, 1999.
Political scientists have widely credited Gingrich with playing a key role in undermining democratic norms in the United States, and hastening political polarization and partisan prejudice.Since leaving the House, Gingrich has remained active in public policy debates and worked as a political consultant. He founded and chaired several policy think tanks, including American Solutions for Winning the Future and the Center for Health Transformation. He has written or co-authored 27 books. In May 2011, he announced his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. On May 2, 2012, Gingrich ended his presidential campaign and endorsed front runner Mitt Romney, who won the nomination.October 2015 Speaker of the United States House of Representatives election
The October 2015 Speaker of the United States House of Representatives election took place on October 29, 2015, during the 114th United States Congress. This unusual intra-term election for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives was necessitated by the impending resignation of John Boehner from the speakership and the House, set for October 30. Boehner was the first speaker to resign in the middle of a Congressional term since Jim Wright in 1989.This was 123rd speaker of the House election since the office was created in 1789. Republican congressman Paul Ryan, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, won the election, receiving 236 votes, an absolute majority of the 435-member chamber. Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, garnered 184 votes, with 12 more going to others. As 432 representatives cast a vote, the majority needed to win was 217.
Ryan (age 45) was the youngest person elected as speaker since James G. Blaine (age 39) in 1869. After the vote Ryan delivered his first remarks as speaker-elect and was sworn in by John Conyers, the dean of the House.Boehner had been speaker since January 5, 2011, and during his tenure had managed substantial friction within the House Republican Conference, most notably several high-profile disputes with the Freedom Caucus. On September 25, 2015, Boehner announced his decision to resign as speaker and from Congress. He scheduled a Republican Conference non-binding vote for speaker on October 8, and a full floor vote on October 29.
Several Republicans expressed interest in becoming Speaker. Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader was initially viewed as the favorite, but withdrew his name from consideration on October 8, when the Freedom Caucus refused to support him, and the conference vote was postponed. Immediately afterwards, an effort was made to recruit the widely respected Paul Ryan, who had been the 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate, for the post; but he had repeatedly insisted that he was not interested in the job. However, after receiving pledges of support from each of the various party factions, Ryan declared his candidacy. The several other Republicans interested in running for speaker promptly endorsed Ryan; only Daniel Webster remained in the race. Ryan won the rescheduled conference vote on October 28, and was elected speaker the next day.Ohio's 8th congressional district
Ohio's 8th congressional district sits on the west side of Ohio, bordering Indiana. The cities of Hamilton, Fairfield, Middletown, Springfield, Eaton, Greenville, Piqua, and Troy are part of the district. The district was represented by Republican John Boehner, the 53rd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. On September 25, 2015, Boehner announced his resignation from the speakership and retirement from Congress, which became effective on October 31, 2015.The current representative for this district is Republican Warren Davidson, who defeated Democrat Corey Foister and Green Party candidate James J. Condit Jr. in the 2016 special election to fill Boehner's seat.Parliamentarian of the United States House of Representatives
The Parliamentarian of the United States House of Representatives manages, supervises, and administers its Office of the Parliamentarian, which is responsible for advising presiding officers, Members, and staff on procedural questions under the U.S. Constitution, rule, and precedent, as well as for preparing, compiling, and publishing the precedents of the House.The Parliamentarian is appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of fitness to perform the duties of the position. Consultation with the Office is confidential (if requested).The Parliamentarian, or an assistant parliamentarian, usually sits or stands to the right of the Speaker or Speaker pro tempore (or the Chair of the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, when the House has resolved into that forum) and advises that presiding officer how to respond to such things as parliamentary inquiries, points of order, and the ordinary workings of the procedures of the House.
The legitimacy of parliamentary procedure in the House depends on nonpartisan procedural advice that is transparently consistent. The Parliamentarian achieves the requisite consistency by fidelity to precedent. The Parliamentarian achieves the requisite transparency by publication. The publications of the Office of the Parliamentarian range from a biennial deskbook to a decennial hornbook to a perennial series of formal precedents. The House Rules and Manual – comprising the Constitution, Jefferson’s Manual, and the rules of the House, each with parliamentary annotations – is the biennial publication that ensures that legislative practitioners have access to the most up-to-date citations of authority on legislative and parliamentary procedure. As such it might be the single most useful tool a legislative practitioner could have.
Probably the most important job of the Office of the Parliamentarian in the long term is the compilation of the precedents. The commitment of the House to the principle of stare decisis in its procedural practice – the idea that fidelity to precedent cultivates levels of consistency and predictability that, in turn, foster fairness in the resolution of questions of order – depends implicitly on the compilation of precedents. Being rigorous about what constitutes actual legal precedent and striving to apply pertinent precedent to each procedural question engenders consistency, and therefore predictability, in procedural practice and, consequently, enhances the perceived legitimacy and fairness, and therefore the integrity, of the proceedings of the House.Paul Ryan
Paul Davis Ryan Jr. (born January 29, 1970) is an American politician who served as the 54th speaker of the United States House of Representatives from October 2015 to January 2019. He was also the 2012 vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party, running alongside Mitt Romney.
Ryan, a native of Janesville, Wisconsin, graduated from Miami University in 1992. He spent five years working for Republicans in Washington, D.C. and returned to Wisconsin in 1997 to work at his family's construction company. He successfully ran for Congress to represent Wisconsin's 1st congressional district the following year, replacing an incumbent Republican who ran for Senate. Ryan would represent the district for 20 years. He chaired the House Budget Committee from 2011 to 2015 and briefly chaired the House Ways and Means Committee in 2015 prior to being elected Speaker of the House following John Boehner's retirement.
A self-proclaimed deficit hawk, Ryan was a major proponent of privatizing Social Security in the mid-2000s. In the 2010s, his proposals "The Path to Prosperity" and "A Better Way" advocated for the privatization of Medicare, block granting of Medicaid, repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and significant tax cuts. As Speaker, he was instrumental in the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. His other major piece of legislation, the American Health Care Act of 2017, passed the House but failed in the Senate by a single vote. Ryan's tenure as Speaker of the House saw a massive increase in government spending and deficits despite unified Republican control of government for most of his tenure.
Ryan declined to run for re-election in the 2018 midterm elections. With the Democratic Party taking control of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi succeeded Ryan as Speaker of the House.Sam Rayburn House Museum
The Sam Rayburn House Museum is a historic house museum at 890 West Texas State Highway 56 in Bonham, Fannin, Texas. Built in 1916, it was home to Sam Rayburn (1882-1961), a famously effective Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Since 1972, it has been operated as a museum and state historic site by the Texas Historical Commission.Thomas P. O'Neill III
Thomas Phillip O'Neill III (born September 20, 1944) leads a public relations and government affairs firm called O'Neill and Associates in Boston. He is the son of Mildred Anne Miller and Thomas Phillip "Tip" O'Neill Jr., who served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1977 to 1987.
From 1975 to 1983, O'Neill served as Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. During his term of office, O'Neill created and administered the Office of Federal-State Relations in Boston and Washington, D.C.. During this time he also served on the U.S. State Department Ambassadorial Screening Committee. Prior to becoming lieutenant governor, O’Neill served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. O'Neill is known for his work on behalf of the Big Dig, a project with which his father was instrumentally involved.
O'Neill declined to seek a third term in 1982 in order to run for Governor of Massachusetts, though he would fall foul of the state Democratic Party's rule changes and failed to make the ballot.O'Neill sits on the Board of Trustees for Boston College and chairs the Board of Trustees of Cristo Rey Boston High School, having graduated from both. He is on the board of Catholic Democrats, a national advocacy organization dealing with faith and politics. O'Neill received his bachelor's degree from Boston College and earned his Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.Tom Foley
Thomas Stephen Foley (March 6, 1929 – October 18, 2013) was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 49th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1989 to 1995. A member of the Democratic Party, Foley represented Washington's fifth district for thirty years (1965–1995). He was the first Speaker of the House since 1862 to be defeated in a re-election campaign.
Born in Spokane, Washington, Foley attended Gonzaga University and pursued a legal career after graduating from the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle. He joined the staff of Senator Henry M. Jackson after working as a prosecutor and an assistant attorney general. With Jackson's support, Foley won election to the House of Representatives, defeating incumbent Republican Congressman Walt Horan. He served as Majority Whip from 1981 to 1987 and as Majority Leader from 1987 to 1989. After the resignation of Jim Wright, Foley became Speaker of the House.
Foley's district had become increasingly conservative during his tenure, but he won re-election throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. In the 1994 election, Foley faced attorney George Nethercutt. Nethercutt mobilized popular anger over Foley's opposition to term limits to defeat the incumbent Speaker. After leaving the House, Foley served as the United States Ambassador to Japan from 1997 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton.