If you happened to see the 2023 Speaker of the House election process—whether through snippets on the evening news, or maybe you watched the coverage on CSPAN—take heart, because this wasn’t the longest battle to see who would lead the U.S. House of Representatives.
Since 1789, when the Speaker of the House position was created, the House has elected 128 Speakers. Of those elections, 15 have required multiple-ballots—12 of those elections occurred before the Civil War. The latest multiple-ballot Speaker of the House election was held in January 2023.
What does the Speaker do?
The position of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives is an important and prestigious job which has grown from a purely parliamentarian role to one that wields more power. Whoever attains this position presides over the U.S. House of Representatives and, according to the U.S. presidential line of succession, is second in line to the Presidency, after the Vice President. The Speaker’s duties include negotiating with the President and the U.S. Senate, controlling the order of business on the House floor, overseeing non-elected staff in the House, such as the inspector general, the sergeant-at-arms, the clerk and the House chaplain, as well as providing leadership in their own party, dispensing assignments to conference and select committees. READ MORE
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