EXPLAINER: Could Trump become Speaker of the House?
Oct 5, 2023, 8:00 PM
(David Dee Delgado /Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY — It wasn’t long after former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was ousted from the speakership that the rumbling began.
The Daily Beast reports that Alex Jones, Steve Bannon, and Newsmax all “floated the idea” of Trump taking over the speakership “just minutes” after McCarthy lost it.
Then today, Fox News Digital said the former president told them he’d accept a “short-term role” as speaker of the House, to act as a “unifier.”
The House of Representatives voted McCarthy out on Oct. 3 after a weekend of bi-partisan bargaining to keep the U.S. government running. McCarthy’s colleagues ousted him by a vote of 216 to 210.
Can former President Trump become the speaker of the House?
There are only a few rules in the U.S. Constitution that deal with the House speakership. A House member must nominate the candidate. Then, a majority of the full House must vote for the candidate. Today, that means 218 votes.
As CBS News reported, the rules of the 118th Congress may stand in the way of the former president. Among the rules adopted by House Republicans in early 2023 was rule 26.
Rule 26 states that a member of Republican leadership “shall step aside if indicted for a felony for which a sentence of two or more years imprisonment may be imposed.”
The former president currently faces more than 90 felony charges within four state and federal court cases. These federal cases involve classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and the former president’s alleged attempts at election interference. The state cases involve alleged “hush payments” to an adult film star in New York, and in Georgia, he faces state charges that he allegedly tried to overturn the 2020 election results.
However, the rule doesn’t mean that people won’t put their vote behind him as speaker.
“You’ll have a small group (of representatives) that say ‘yes, I’m going to vote for Donald Trump to be the speaker of the House,'” said Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson on KSL NewsRadio, “knowing that he couldn’t serve even if he was voted in.
“There’s not a snowball’s chance in Guam he would get 218 votes in the House to become speaker,” said Matheson.
- Utah’s congressional leaders react to ousting of McCarthy as House Speaker
- Utah Congressman: Nobody but McCarthy has the votes
- An early look at possible successors to McCarthy for House speaker