It’s always an exciting time when a new speaker of the House has to be chosen, and with Speaker Paul Ryan’s retirement from office, House Republicans need to pick a new leader. It’s no easy task: the Speaker has wide-reaching responsibilities, from setting legislative agendas to managing floor debates to representing the interests of their party in negotiations with the White House. But how exactly does the process of picking a new Speaker work, and what challenges must House Republicans face in doing so?
First, it’s important to remember that the House of Representatives is elected by the people. House Republicans will have to choose a politician who has the respect of their constituents and a track record of success in order to effectively represent the interests of the party. That means selecting someone who can build a broad coalition of support, including among both hardline conservatives and moderates with differing agendas.
Next, the Republican House Conference must decide on a candidate. This is determined by a secret ballot of delegates, with the nominee achieving a majority of the votes required to secure the position. To further complicate matters, the Republican Conference must also consider the balance of power within the House. The winner must appeal to both the Republican majority and the Democratic minority in order to gain the 218 votes necessary for a majority in the chamber.
Finally, the candidate that the Republican House Conference selects must then be officially elected by the full House, with voting taking place on the floor. Here, the majority and minority leaders may make speeches in support of their respective candidates and attempt to rally support among undecided members. The candidate with the most votes from members of both parties will then become the new Speaker of the House.
It’s no easy task picking a new Speaker of the House, but fortunately the process is well established. House Republicans have a lot of decisions ahead of them: from narrowing down potential candidates to securing votes from members of both parties. With a little patience and a lot of tact, they’ll eventually elect the leader that their constituents deserve.