The House of Representatives
is responsible for the election of the Speaker of the House. This is provided by the United States Constitution, as per Article I, Section 2. The Speaker of the House of Representatives are elected every subsequent time a new House is to convene for the first time.
The Constitution does not provide for any provisions or legislature stating that the Speaker of the House of Representatives needs to be a member of this chamber of Congress in order to be eligible. Essentially, anyone that meets the requirements of eligibility for the office may be considered for nomination.
The requirements are the same as those for any other seat in the House of Representatives. However, those that have shown a skill for leadership will be given extra consideration.
The three basic requirements are:
● At least twenty-five years old
● Citizen of the United States for the
previous seven years
● An inhabitant of the State they are to represent at the time of the election.
Even though it is not required by Constitutional laws, every Speaker of the House of Representatives has always been a member of the House before being elected. Members of the House of Representatives will typically vote for the candidate that represents their
political party or affiliation. However, any member that receives a nomination to become the Speaker of the House of Representatives can be voted in by any other member, regardless of ties to political factions. In certain cases, even members that are not formally nominated can also be voted for the position.
In recent practice, the candidate is typically chosen among the members of the House leadership in the majority party. The prospective candidate must be voted in on a majority vote of the House of Representatives. A majority vote can be reached, even if all of the members of the House of Representatives are not present. Absentee members of the House of Representatives can render a vote of “present.”
If there is no majority vote rendered in favor of anyone candidate, the election process is repeated until a Speaker of the House of Representatives is elected. Once the election is over and a Speaker of the House of Representatives is elected, the individual is then sworn into the office by the Dean of the House, which is the member that has longest served the House of Representatives at that given point in time.
Once in office, the Speaker of the House of Representatives have substantial powers and responsibilities, which include, but are not limited to:
● Administering the oath of office to new
members of the House of Representatives
● Referring bills to committees
● Administering votes in regards to certain
matters to the members of the House of Representatives
● Counting and declaring votes rendered in the
● Recognizing members of the House for
speaking and making motions
● The appointment of House members to
committees and conferences
● Signing bills and resolutions that are passed
by the House of Representatives.