About Speaker In The USA
- The US Congress, i.e. the legislative Branch, consists of the House of Representatives (lower chamber), along with the Senate (upper chamber).
- The Vice President serves as presiding officer and President of the Senate by virtue of his/her office.
- While the Speaker serves as the political and parliamentary leader of the House of Representatives.
- The Speaker is second in line for the presidency, following the Vice-President, in the event of the President being incapable of continuing in office.
- The speaker has always been, but is not required to be a House Member, and is elected by the house every 2 years.
- The Speaker performs a number of functions, including:
- Presides over the House
- Administers the Oath of Office to House Members
- Communicates with the President of the United States and the U.S. Senate
- Leads his or her party conference or caucus
- Chairs his or her party’s steering committee, which is involved in the selection of party members for standing committees
- Nominates chairs and members of the Committee on Rules and the Committee on House Administration.
Election Process in the USA
- The full House of Representatives votes for the speaker on the first day of a new Congress.
- A candidate must gain a majority of votes cast.
- If no candidate reaches the threshold of majority votes, the House will continue voting until someone does. The record for the longest vote was set in 1856 when it took 133 ballots and two months to choose a speaker.
- In India, Lok Sabha Speaker is the comparative office to US Speaker as both heads the elected house of the Legislative Branch.
- But some differences exist between the two. E.g. in India, the speaker:
- Need to be a Lok Sabha member to be elected.
- Can be outside the ruling party or coalition, based on instances.
- Holds office from his/her election till immediately before the first meeting of the Lok Sabha after the dissolution of the one to which he/she was elected.