Dead Presidents

Historical facts, thoughts, ramblings and collections on the Presidency and about the Presidents of the United States.

By Anthony Bergen
E-Mail: bergen.anthony@gmail.com
Posts tagged "Speaker"

Most definitely.  Uncle Joe is a case where, at least towards the end of his Speakership, when William Howard Taft was President, the Speaker was probably the most powerful person in the United States instead of the President.  The rest of Cannon’s time as Speaker was during Theodore Roosevelt’s Presidency, but Uncle Joe wasn’t too far behind TR on that list.

I’ve been thinking about the last question I got about Speaker John Boehner saying that he isn’t going to negotiate with President Obama anymore and about how generally terrible Congress is and I came to a thought.

The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives is next in line to the Presidency after the Vice President.  The Speaker controls the flow of legislation in the House and is easily the most influential member of the Legislative branch — probably the third or fourth most powerful person in the country.  The Speaker is an enormously important component to the political process in the United Sates.

It requires a simple majority of the votes of 435 people, many of whom are casting ballots on the first day of their new job in Congress, to elect the Speaker of the House.  The voting is almost always done along strict party lines.  John Boehner will probably be Speaker until January 3, 2015.  It only took 200 people to decide that.  Although the Speaker of the House is a tremendously powerful person who influences the lives of every American in many ways, John Boehner is really only accountable to the 8th Congressional District of Ohio.  Nancy Pelosi was really only accountable to the 8th Congressional District of California.

Understanding all of this, shouldn’t we choose the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives in a national election?  Shouldn’t candidates for the Speaker have to face all of the voters of our country?  Shouldn’t all Americans help make that decision?