While the race for control of the House of Representatives continues, speculation over who will be the leader of the chamber has turned from the expected to the fantastic.
On Sunday, Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin suggested to journalist Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation” that if the Republicans end up winning the House, a faction of the party could end up nominating former President Donald Trump.
Raskin suggested that pro-Trump representatives in the House could ignore House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s bid for the post and instead nominate Trump for the job.
Brennan challenged Raskin during the show, saying the idea of making Trump speaker was not a “real option.”
“Well, they talk about it repeatedly,” Raskin replied. “And if Trump decided he wanted to do it, it would pose a profound problem for their party because they refuse to do the right thing,” he said.
“And they might just vote for Trump, when they, you know, take the roll call for speaker,” Raskin said. “So, we know that the hard right Freedom Caucus people are in search of another candidate and one potential candidate whose name has been floated is Donald Trump himself, because the speaker of the House does not have to be a member of the House. And they are talking about putting Trump right there.”
Trump is widely expected to announce Tuesday that he will run for president in 2024.
Last week in an interview with Fox News, Trump said he would support McCarthy, R-California, for speaker if Republicans win back control of the House.
Republicans could vote for a leader as early as Tuesday at the party’s organizational conference in preparation for the next congressional session, according to USA Today.
In a letter to his colleagues the day after last week’s election, McCarthy officially announced his intentions to run for speaker.
“I am determined to ensure that this majority reaches its full potential,” McCarthy said in the letter. “I will be a listener every bit as much as a speaker, striving to build consensus from the bottom-up rather than commanding the agenda from the top-down.”
How is a speaker of the House chosen? Here is how it works.
The speaker of the House, in addition to deciding what comes to the floor for a vote, is, per the Constitution, second in line to succeed the president, after the vice president.
Candidates for speaker are nominated by each party’s caucus or conference and elected at the beginning of the new Congress in January.
There is no rule that requires the nominee to be an elected member of the House, according to Article I, Section II of the Constitution. Candidates nominated for the position who were not members of the House include former Sec. of State Colin Powell, Georgia politician Stacy Abrams and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky.
The speaker is elected by roll call vote. A candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast in order to become speaker. If all members of the House are present and voting, the majority would be 218.
If all members are not there, it is a majority of the members present and voting. If no candidate wins a majority, the roll call is repeated until a speaker is elected.
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