Despite everything that’s happened, the Republican party remains beholden to a septuagenarian who’s been kicked off most of social media and now lives in resorts with strangers. Trump has repeatedly strongly suggested he plans to run in 2024. But some have taken things…well, not one step further, exactly. More like one step back: Among the many wacko things Trump lackey Matt Gaetz has claimed is that his favorite former president could become Speaker of the House.
It seemed an odd thing to say — and it inspired the question: Is that, like, even possible? Can someone who’s not even an elected lawmaker rule over one of the biggest bodies of government? Well, some are taking whatever steps necessary to ensure that, even if it is, it doesn’t happen. As per Forbes, Pennsylvania Rep. Brandon Boyle introduced a bill called the MEMBERS Act. What it stands for also explains what it is: Mandating that being an Elected Member Be an Essential Requirement for Speakership.
Boyle called the act an “alarm bell,” saying signing it into law would be “in the name of protecting our nation and our democracy.”
Thing is, it’s not that far-fetched. As Forbes reports, Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution deems the House has the power to “choose their speaker and other officers.” Throughout history, every Speaker has been a member of the House. But it doesn’t offer any specific requirements, which suggests Gaetz did some snooping, hoping to find a loophole.
“This legislation would establish that mandate in very clear and direct language,” Boyle said, “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.”
Fun fact: There have been cases when non-House members have received votes during speaker elections, the most recent case being now-President Joe Biden, who got a vote from Democratic representative Anthony Brindisi in 2019 based on his opposition to current Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
As for Gaetz, he’s busy these days impersonating Huey Lewis on sidewalks and getting clowned in viral videos.