The election of the Speaker of the House is going on and on and on. That’s a good thing. It’s our Constitutional Republic at work. Article 1, Section 2 lists the first order of business for the House: Elect a Speaker. It doesn’t say the process is microwavable. Instead, there are no time limits on how long the process takes. No new business until the first order of business is settled. The Constitution does not even specify that the Speaker of the House must be an elected member of Congress!
I was on a long-distance flight yesterday, watching the proceedings in the House. The news media calls the process “chaotic,” “nefarious,” and other negative adjectives. One of our lessons here is to remember that the news business is in business to keep our attention. It’s a show. When there’s a lull in the news, the media sets up a variety of opinions for our consideration. The key word here: is “opinions.” I did academic research to find facts about the Speaker of the House position that are important to us. Let’s dive in and gain a better understanding of the process.
Negotiations of the House in a Constitutional Republic At Work
Negotiations are the name of the game in a Constitutional Republic. Somehow, frustration is drummed up over the time it takes to reach a conclusion. So what if the House is stalled? When did 435 people ever agree on anything immediately? This is the beauty of a Constitutional Republic. It’s not a dictatorship.
Speaker, of the House, Not Emperor
Ahh, but the office of Speaker of the House has become more like one of Emperor, not Speaker. Therefore, members want to change up the House rules, like:
– allowing a single member to call for the Speaker to be replaced (“vacate the chair”)
-making a clear goal of legislation to reduce federal spending
-requiring legislation to post 72 hours in advance so House members can read the bill
-changes in the Rules Committee to allow more conservative members (also an appropriate change if the scales were tipped the other way). This change would determine what legislation goes to the floor and how it is debated and amended.
Changes, Not Chaos
Members want changes in how the House operates. They want a broad representation of who gets input on House proceedings. They do not want to be sidelined because they are in a lower position than other, more senior members of committees. In short, they want influence and input. That’s why We the People elected them in the first place. This is not chaos. It’s asking for changes that return the power to the members, not control in the hands of a few.
Being that the House did it in 1910, they can do it in 2023. We shall see as the process unfolds!
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. 🇺🇸
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