Florida GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz said he will support former President Trump in becoming the new House Speaker. While this might sound outlandish, it is not at all impossible.
This week, Gaetz published a video from a media conference where a journalist asked him if he would support Donald Trump for Speaker of the House. He said he would and had even discussed the possibility with Donald Trump himself, but those were just the details he gave.
“I keep my discussions with the former president between us,” Gaetz said.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) December 7, 2021
Historically, the House Speaker was always a previously elected House of Representatives member. But according to one 2015 article, that is not a requirement.
The U.S. Constitution says, “The House shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers,” NBC said. Nowhere does it say the House needs to choose someone who is a House member.
NBC said the official position of the House Historian, agreed upon by the House Clerk, is that the speaker “has normally been a Member of the House, but is not required to be.”
Cleveland University constitutional professor David Forte said that America’s founding fathers would have assumed the House would elect its own members.
“It would have been unthinkable for the house not to have its leader be a representative who is elected by the people,” Forte said to NBC.
While that could be true, the founders didn’t specify this within the Constitution, meaning it is not a true requirement.
For this reason, it is a possibility that a majority GOP House could appoint Trump as the next U.S. House Speaker.
Republicans need only five House seats to reclaim the majority. Given their success in off-year elections this Nov. in New Jersey and Virginia, this is a very real possibility.
While a GOP majority in the U.S. House is somewhat likely, the chances of Donald Trump becoming speaker are admittedly slim. Still, at least one House member has shown public support for this idea, and there could be others who are waiting to follow along.
Author: Blake Ambrose