Speaker Of The House: The Speaker's Role In Congress

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As the presiding officer of the House of Representatives and the leader of the majority party, the Speaker of the House holds a vital role in Congress. However, although the Speaker of the House is a significant national office, he or she is not elected by the nation. The Speaker is first elected, by a single congressional district to serve as their Representative in Congress, and is followed by a majority vote of the House to occupy the office of Speaker. On opening day of each new Congress, nominations for Speaker are made from the floor. One nomination is from the majority party and one from the minority. The vote for Speaker is then conducted by a call of the entire House Membership by name, and the votes are traditionally cast along strict…show more content…
The Speaker is in a position that allows he or she to lay down the rules of the House and to arbitrate when disagreements develop within the House. The Speaker 's rulings can be challenged, but seldom are. Customarily, they are final. Behind the scenes, the power that the Speaker of the House has is even more wide-ranging. This is due to the fact that voting is a relatively minor part of the House 's business. The House’s essential legislative work is executed in committees. The Speaker plays an imperative role in appointing committee chairs, effects the referral of bills to the committees, and decides the schedules of the bills. Bills favored by the Speaker will leave committee more quickly and come to an earlier vote as opposed to those the Speaker does not prefer or support. This is often problematic because as the Presiding Officer of the House, the Speaker is obliged to protect the rights of all Members on the House floor. However, being that the Speaker of the House is the leader of the majority party, the Speaker correspondingly seeks to advance that party’s policies through the legislative process Outside of Congress, the Speaker ordinarily possesses high visibility in U.S. politics. The media frequently reports on the opinions the Speaker has on issues. Depending on which party occupies the White House, the Speaker can be either a strategically placed ally or powerful foe to the president. The relationship between the two branches of government does not ultimately end there. Under the rules of succession, the Speaker is second in line after the vice president to assume the
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