In the wake of Kevin McCarthy’s withdrawal from the race for Speaker of the House, the Republican House caucus is in search of a new leader. The process for picking a Speaker is a long and complicated one. Here’s everything you need to know about how it’s done.
First and foremost, the House of Representatives will need to elect a new Speaker. The procedure begins with the members of the Republican House caucus holding a closed-door meeting to select a single nominee to serve as the GOP’s candidate for Speaker. The party will then cast an official nomination for the position in the House chamber.
Once the Republican nominee has been selected, all of the House members will vote on the individual. In order for a candidate to be elected Speaker of the House, they must receive a majority of the votes—218 of the total 435. If no candidate secures this majority of votes, then a runoff election occurs between the top two contenders.
Once elected, the Speaker of the House acts as the presiding officer in the chamber and is primarily responsible for maintaining order and enforcing the rules of procedure for the House. In addition, the Speaker will typically play a major role in legislative debates, issuing rulings on proposed amendments and referring legislation to the appropriate committees for review.
Finally, the Speaker of the House has some significant power when it comes to influencing the legislative process. For instance, the Speaker has the authority to establish the rules determining how floor votes are conducted, effectively controlling which of the bills are brought for consideration and the amount of time allotted to each bill. Additionally, the Speaker also manages the floor action, prioritizing legislative items for voting in the House chamber.
With McCarthy removing himself from the race for Speaker, the House of Representatives will have to find a new leader. Given the added responsibility that comes along with such a powerful position, the search for the new Speaker should not be taken lightly. It is certain to be an interesting process to watch unfold.