TOPLINE A House Democrat on Monday introduced a bill to block non-House members from becoming speaker of the House in response to speculation that former President Donald Trump may launch a bid for the speaker’s gavel if Republicans win the chamber in 2022.
Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) introduced the MEMBERS Act – which stands for Mandating that being an Elected Member Be an Essential Requirement for Speakership – which, as its name suggests, requires House membership as a prerequisite for becoming speaker.
Boyle specifically cited the speculation about Trump as the motivation for the bill, calling it an “alarm bell” that the current requirements should be changed “in the name of protecting our nation and our democracy.”
Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution gives the House the power to “choose their speaker and other officers” without any specific requirements, though every speaker in U.S. history has also been a House member.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claims to have Trump’s backing for his inevitable bid for the speakership – and Trump’s team denies their man wants the job – but that hasn’t stopped Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) from vowing to nominate the ex-president anyway.
Forbes has reached out to a Trump spokesperson for comment.
“This legislation would establish that mandate in very clear and direct language, and it would serve as a check against those who would seek to undermine and derogate the authority and responsibilities of the Speaker’s office,” Boyle said.
While there haven’t been any speakers who were not members of the House, several non-members have gotten votes during speaker elections. Most recently, former Rep. Anthony Brindisi, a Democrat from New York, voted for President Joe Biden in 2019 due to his opposition to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Trump has been publicly flirting with another bid for the White House. Asked last week by Fox News host Maria Bartiromo if he’ll run in 2024, Trump said, “I absolutely know my answer, and we’re going to do very well and people are going to be very happy.”
Author : Andrew Solender
Source : Forbes : House Democrat Introduces Bill To Block Trump From Becoming Speaker