Speaker of the House

The Second Hardest Job in Washington D.C.

When the founders framed the newly created Congress in Article I of the Constitution, they divided the national legislature into two distinct chambers. The Senate would be represented by the states, chosen by the various state legislatures. The United States House of Representatives however would be chosen by the voters directly in each district. The house would be the people’s chamber, its members directly advocating for their constituents interests at the national level.

Leading that majority voice would be the Speaker of the House. The Speaker of the House is the only constitutionally mandated officer and has two very specifics jobs. The Speaker is tasked with presiding over all members of both parties and signing all bills and resolutions passed by the chamber. The Speaker is also chosen by the majority party to advance legislation and be the “face” of the party. The current Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, was chosen by her party in 2007 and in 2018 to lead the newly elected Democratic major

Questions for Reflection:
  1. How can the Speaker of the House check the power of the president?
  2. Discuss why it is easier to be in the minority in the Senate and than in the House.
  3. The role of Speaker of the House has often been compared to “herding cats.” Explain what this could mean.

Photo/Image: Gage Skidmore