Democratic Representative Brendan Boyle reintroduced a bill on Friday that seeks to mandate House speakers also to be members of the House, intending to prevent former President Donald Trump from assuming the position.
In the wake of Kevin McCarthy’s removal as Speaker, Trump’s name has been floated as a potential replacement. Subsequently, Republican Representatives Greg Steube of Florida and Troy Nehls of Texas announced their intention to nominate Trump.
In an official statement introducing the legislation, Congressman Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania emphasized, “The Speaker of the House of Representatives holds the second position in the presidential line of succession.
The ongoing mention of Donald Trump as a potential Speaker, amidst the turmoil and disarray within the Republican ranks, should signal that it’s imperative to revise our existing prerequisites to safeguard our nation and the principles of our democracy. “Our House Rules should mandate that the Speaker be an elected Member of the U.S. House,” Boyle emphasized.
CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane, who shared the news on X (formerly Twitter), noted that Boyle’s bill “would serve as a check against those who would seek to undermine the authority and responsibilities of the Speaker’s office.”
However, Trump has previously expressed disinterest in the role. In a March 2022 interview with Just the News, he stated, “No, I think it’s not something I wanted. A lot of people bring it up. It’s always brought up. No, it’s not something I want to do. I want to look at what’s happening, and then we will do something else. No, it’s not something I would be interested in.”
The timing of the bill’s reintroduction has led some to speculate that Democrats may believe Trump could garner sufficient support to become Speaker.
One X user, James, remarked, “With Dems, it is ALWAYS about holding power. Their fears cannot be realized….”
Michela, another user, expressed her support for the bill’s underlying principle, stating, “I agree with this. Let’s not deviate from the established precedent that the leader of the House should be a member of it and accountable to all its members.”
These developments have arisen amid ongoing legal challenges faced by Trump, including civil liability related to business fraud and his not-guilty plea to 91 felony criminal charges spanning four indictments this year.
Illinois Democratic Representative Sean Casten highlighted the GOP’s rule 26(a) for the 118th Congress, which dictates that a member of the Republican leadership “must step down if there is a felony indictment carrying a potential prison sentence of more than two years.