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12 06 2015 | by Victor Xing | Other

How powerful is the U.S. Speaker of the House?

The Speaker of the House wields considerable power due to a number of reasons (#2 cannot be overstated)
  1. The Speaker is the 3rd in-line for the Presidency should both the President and Vice President are incapacitated, dead, resigned, or removed from office (impeachment and conviction) – please see United States presidential line of succession
  2. The Speaker sets the House’s legislative agenda by controlling United States House Committee on Rules.  This is a very powerful Committee that determines under what rule bills will come to the floor for debate, as well as when the debate will take place and for how long it will last.  The Speaker selects 9 of the 13 Committee members – giving the majority party effective control of the legislative agenda.
  3. The Speaker is usually a senior leader from majority party in the House of Representatives, and if the House is controlled by a party different than the party of the President, then the Speaker would lead the effort to block measures by the minority party and support legislative processes in opposition to the President’s agenda.  Thanks to #2, the Speaker has effective means to achieve this goal
  4. The Speaker is generally a senior official who is well versed in the procedure technicalities of the House – there are many arcane rules that an experienced politician can utilize to affect the outcome of debates or legislative process (it is to be noted that this not a power unique to the Speaker, but generally the Speaker is more effective at this due to their time served in the House)
  5. The Speaker is influential in the Congressional Budget Process
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
Original Quora article

Next article11 26 2015 | by Victor Xing | Other

Why doesn’t Goldman Sachs provide free food for staff?