Representative Brendan Boyle (D-PA) introduced a bill that would only allow sitting House members to serve as Speaker after Donald Trump said the post would be “interesting.”
Boyle, having seemingly resolved all other matters of concern for his constituents, moved on to legislation specifically targeting the former President.
Though the role has never been filled by anyone outside the chamber, the Constitution does not specifically state that the Speaker must be a House member. Anyone chosen by the House can serve as Speaker.
And while Trump being chosen for the role would be an extreme long shot, Boyle is so fearful of the prospect he doesn’t want to take the chance.
“The Speaker of the U.S. House is second in the United States presidential line of succession,” he said in a statement.
“That Donald Trump’s name would even be tossed around as a potential speaker in the people’s house, should serve as an alarm bell that our current requirements need to be amended in the name of protecting our nation and our democracy,” Boyle continued.
Democrat unveils bill to allow only House members to serve as Speaker after Trump called the suggestion he seek the gavel “so interesting” https://t.co/ifHAFcWCzb pic.twitter.com/FNRCtqXTqV
— The Hill (@thehill) July 20, 2021
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Trump As Speaker Of The House?
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Last month, in an interview with conservative radio host Wayne Allen Root, former President Donald Trump toyed with the idea of running for Congress in 2022 and perhaps becoming Speaker of the House.
Root, for his part, was completely enamored with the idea, suggesting Trump run for a House seat in Florida, lead the Republican Party to a massive victory in the chamber in 2022, and “become the Speaker of the House.”
The radio host went so far as to suggest Trump could then give Biden and the Democrats a taste of their own medicine if he were to “lead the impeachment of (President) Biden and start criminal investigations against” him.
Democrat unveils bill to allow only House members to serve as Speaker after Trump called the suggestion he seek the gavel “so interesting” https://t.co/TpKEEOrQM9 pic.twitter.com/fB46ubncMz
— The Hill (@thehill) July 20, 2021
Trump, always one to leave all possibilities on the table to keep his political adversaries off guard, said the idea was “so interesting.”
Root egged him on a bit, saying the move would make him a “folk hero.”
“Yeah, you know it’s very interesting,” Trump replied, noting some people have suggested he run for Senate. “But you know what, your idea might be better. It’s very interesting.”
Rep. Brendan Boyle wants to mandate that only House members and delegates can become speaker, calling speculation about a Trump bid for the gavel an “alarm bell” about current rules. https://t.co/ngiUZHBzdc
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) July 19, 2021
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Obsessed With Trump
Root wasn’t the only one to suggest Trump make a move to become Speaker of the House.
Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon first touted the idea of Trump running for Congress to take over as Speaker back in February.
As with Root, Bannon suggested the former President could lead impeachment proceedings against Biden.
.@LevinsonJessica: Matt Gaetz says Trump should become speaker of the House. It’s an unlikely scenario — but perhaps not a technically impossible one. https://t.co/tBpzN42hLN
— MSNBC Daily (@MSNBCDaily) July 20, 2021
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) a staunch ally of Trump, has also suggested he be elected to the role of House Speaker.
Gaetz sent out fundraising appeals which told donors, ”how great it will feel when … we make our next Speaker of the House Donald J. Trump.”
Boyle believes his legislation would prevent that from happening.
“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,” he said.
Speaker doesn’t have to be a member. The majority can elect anyone
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) January 28, 2021
We’re not quite sure Boyle thought it through very well, however.
The entire premise of Root’s and Bannon’s argument is that Trump runs for a House seat and then becomes Speaker of the House. Neither of their suggestions involves House members choosing an outsider to serve as Speaker.
Boyle’s obsession with stopping Trump even after he has left office is perhaps matched only by Democrats earlier this year who introduced a bill that would ban the former President from being buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
That bill has 13 Democrat co-sponsors.
Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ) at the time said the bill is proof that “Trump lives rent-free in the heads of Democrats.”
“If it weren’t so tragic, it would be hilarious,” he added.
Boyle’s obsession continues that tragic legacy.
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"It's amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites." Thomas Sowell