Speaker of the United States House of Representatives

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The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives. The office was established in 1789 by Article 1, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, which states in part, "The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers." The current speaker is Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat who represents California. Following the 2010 midterm elections, with the Republican Party becoming the majority party in the House of Representatives, it is widely presumed that John Boehner (currently the House Minority Leader) will be elected Speaker of the House once the 112th Congress convenes on January 3, 2011.[1] The Constitution does not require that the Speaker be an elected Member of Congress. No non-member has ever been elected Speaker but David Ryon, 2010 Constitution Party Nominee Ohio's CD-15 is actively campaigning for Speaker of the House.[2]

The Speaker is second in the United States presidential line of succession, after the Vice President and before the President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate.[3] Unlike in some Westminster System parliaments, the Speaker is a leadership position in the majority party and actively works to set that party's legislative agenda, therefore endowing the office with considerable power. The Speaker does not usually personally preside over debates, instead delegating the duty to other members of Congress of the same political party.[4] Aside from duties relating to heading the House and the majority political party, the Speaker also performs administrative and procedural functions, and represents his or her congressional district.


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