Politics

Speaker Trump? He Will Need To Secure An Absolute Majority In The House

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It’s unclear if former President Trump will again run for the Oval Office in 2024.

But another issue is whether Mr. Trump may care to be speaker of the House when the new Congress begins on Jan. 3, 2023.

Some of that conjecture started to churn again over the weekend when the former president held a campaign-style rally in Wellington, Ohio.

This all got stirred up recently when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., appeared to suggest during an interview on Fox that the former president wanted to be speaker, should Republicans claim control of the House in the 2022 midterms. McCarthy’s aides immediately mopped this up. They said the former president wants McCarthy to preside as speaker if the GOP flips the House next year.

But whether or not President Trump could emerge as the 55th speaker of the House raises a very interesting question: could it actually happen?

There were suggestions that the former president may try to seek a seat in Congress, representing Palm Beach, Florida, home to Mar-a-Lago. In an interview with Wayne Allyn Root, Trump argued that becoming speaker “might be better.” He described the possibility as “very interesting.”

The problem with that is former President Trump is registered to vote in the 21st Congressional District of Florida, currently held by Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla. The district favors Democrats by eight points. Frankel vanquished her GOP opponent, Laura Loomer, by 20 points. The former president even lost to President Biden on his home turf, 58% to 41%.

But there’s nothing in the Constitution that says House members must reside in the districts they represent. Heading into 2022, Republicans are hoping to flip the seat currently held by moderate, Blue Dog Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla. Murphy took a pass on challenging Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., for his seat. Republicans would love to win the seat of retiring Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., who is now running for governor.

But the plight of a freshman Republican congressman could cramp former President Trump’s style. As a House neophyte, Trump would likely discover himself relegated to cramped quarters in House outposts, with tiny offices on the upper floors of the Cannon or Longworth House Office Buildings. These outposts are Congressional Siberia. A far cry from the commodious trappings of the Oval Office or Trump Tower.

House members don’t get any special dispensation in seniority or special perquisites – even if they are a former president.

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Moreover, it’s rare for any former president to return to public life as a House member or senator.

President John Quincy Adams is the only former president to serve in the House. Adams was a House member for 18 years after his time in the White House. He actually died in what was then the Speaker’s Office just off the House floor, now named after the late Rep. Lindy Boggs, D-La.

President Andrew Johnson became a senator after leaving the presidency, serving among the same members who nearly convicted him in an impeachment trial. But Johnson fell ill and died shortly after serving in the Senate.

However, former President Trump wouldn’t even have to fiddle with being elected to Congress and camping out on the fifth floor of the Cannon House Office Building across from the Capitol if he really wanted to become speaker of the House – and an outright majority of the House also wanted Speaker Trump.

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The Constitution is silent when it comes to the qualifications of the speaker. Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution simply states the following: “The House of Represen… (Read more)

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