US Constitution and the Potential of Donald Trump as Next Speaker of the House
Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House, was recently voted out of office by a faction of his Republican colleagues. McCarthy was fired shortly after striking a last-minute compromise with Democrats to avert a partial government shutdown, a move that enraged some members of his party. As the Republican Party seeks his replacement, there is rising speculation that former President Donald Trump could take over as Speaker of the House.
Texas Republican Troy Nehls made headlines last week when he announced his desire to nominate Trump for Speaker of the House, reports Live Mint. “This week, when the US House of Representatives reconvenes, my first order of business will be to nominate Donald J. Trump for Speaker of the US House of Representatives." "President Trump, the greatest President of my lifetime, has a proven record of putting America First and will make the House great again," Nehls announced.
With Nehls leading the push, another Florida Republican, Greg Steube, joined the movement by publicly endorsing Trump's probable candidacy. “@realDonaldTrump for Speaker," he wrote in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter). The possibility of a former president becoming Speaker of the House has sparked concerns about the constitutional ramifications of such a move.
The Speaker of the House is not required under the United States Constitution to be a member of the House of Representatives. However, if Trump is elected Speaker, he will be the only person in the past 234 years to hold this critical post without first being elected as a member of the House.
Nonetheless, for Trump to become Speaker, he would need at least 217 votes in the House. This criterion ensures that the Speaker represents the majority of House members' wishes, which is a key principle of the US democratic system. Trump's candidacy for Speaker of the House has sparked heated controversy within the Republican Party and among political analysts. Some see it as a planned effort to keep Trump in the public glare, allowing him to preserve his appeal among his core followers as he prepares to run for President in 2024. Others see it as a serious effort to alter Republican leadership in the House and pursue a more assertive agenda.
Some Republicans favor an outsider to serve as the next US House speaker: Donald Trump.— Bloomberg Government (@BGOV) October 4, 2023
Yet he is ineligible for the post under the party’s own rules barring anyone under indictment for serious charges from any House leadership role.https://t.co/AZ8OnRGVsw
For the first time in history, the House removed its leader in a historic 216-to-210 vote. Eight Republicans voted with 208 Democrats to remove McCarthy, who said he would not run for speaker again. "I fought for what I believe in," McCarthy stated. "I believe I can continue to fight, but maybe in a different manner." The House is projected to be without a leader for almost a week. On October 10, several Republicans plan to gather to explore prospective successors, with a new speaker vote slated for October 11, per Reuters.
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