If you're like most people, you know what the President of the United States does. You also know what members of the Senate and Congress do. But, you might not know what the Speaker of the House does. The Speaker of the House of Representatives is one of the most powerful people in the government. In fact, without the Speaker of the House, a lot of work would go undone. Here are some of the duties that the US Speaker of the House has when carrying out their responsibilities.
They're Second in the Line of Succession
The President is the person in charge of the executive branch of the US government. But, there is a line of people who are designated to take over if the President can't fulfill their duties. The Vice President is the first person in the line of succession. They become the acting President if something happens to the President. The Speaker of the House is the next person in the line of succession. That means if something happens to the President and the Vice President, the Speaker of the House becomes the acting President of the United States.
They Administer the Oath of Office
When new members get voted into the House of Representatives, they need to get sworn into office. That's where the Speaker of the House comes into the picture. The Speaker of the House administers the oath of office to new congressional members. If a new Speaker of the House has not been elected, the oath of office can't be administered. That's why Congress needs to elect a Speaker of the House as soon as possible.
They Can Be From Either Party
If you're like most people, you might think that the Speaker of the House needs to be a member of the majority party. That's not the case though. The Speaker of the House can be from either party. But, they need to receive a majority of the votes from members of the House. If no one gets a majority of the votes, congress keeps debating until someone does get a majority vote.
They Set the Voting Agenda
When it comes to congressional business, the Speaker of the House sets the agenda. That includes deciding what issues will get put up for a vote. If the members of the House want to debate an issue, they need to first get permission from the Speaker of the House.
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