Former President Donald Trump and former Republican Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney share little respect for one another. But both names have been suggested as the possible next Speaker of the House of Representatives this week after California Rep. Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the position on Tuesday.
Both Trump and Cheney are technically eligible to serve as the speaker (with one caveat we’ll get to in a moment), just as Kayne West, Tom Brady, or essentially any American of voting age would be. That’s because, by House rules, the speaker doesn’t need to be an elected official.
The office was established in 1789 by Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution. The speaker is essentially the political and parliamentary leader of the House – yet does not usually personally preside over debates. Instead, that duty is delegated to members of the House from the majority party.
A Push for Trump
Just hours after McCarthy was booted from the post following a motion to vacate brought forth by extreme right hardliner Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Trump’s name was quickly suggested for the next speaker.
Texas Republican Rep. Troy Nehls said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon that his first order of business would be to “nominate Donald J. Trump for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives,” and added, “President Trump, the greatest President of my lifetime, has a proven record of putting America First and will make the House great again.
Rep. Greg Steube (R-Florida) also said he would back Trump for speaker on Tuesday.
This wasn’t the first time that the former president has been touted as a possible speaker – and even before the 2022 midterms, there had been discussions that Trump could be tapped for the position, which is actually second in the line of succession after the vice president. In January, when McCarthy struggled to garner the votes to secure his speakership, Gaetz also cast a ballot for Trump.
Stop The Presses – Rule 26 Could be an Issue
Though several Republicans have since been quick to name Trump as a possible speaker, Rep. Sean Casten (D-Illinois) gave his Republican colleagues a reminder of Rule 26, which was adopted in January.
It states that any GOP leader indicted of a felony with a potential prison sentence of two or more years – which would include the former president – would need to step aside from the House.
Trump Doesn’t Even Want the Job
It would be very unlikely that Trump would – or could accept the job given that he is currently on the campaign trail when he’s not due in court. Given such a packed schedule, it would be almost impossible for him to handle a third major responsibility.
Trump has also ruled out even considering taking such a position.
“No, I think that it’s not something I wanted. A lot of people bring it up. It’s brought up all the time,” Trump said in March, per TheHill.com. “No, it’s not something I want to do. I want to look at what’s happening, and then we’re going to be doing something else. No, it’s not something I would be interested in.”
What About Cheney?
Though no lawmakers have suggested Cheney’s name, at least yet, several users on social media have suggested she could attract Republican moderates and then get the support of House Democrats. That could be enough for her to secure the speakership – regardless of what a handful of hardliners on the right might like.
An outsider – one who does know the system – could also be just what is needed to bring calm and order back to a House that is very much divided.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.
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