Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
|Speaker of the United States House of Representatives|
Seal of the Speaker
Flag of the Speaker
|United States House of Representatives|
|Seat||United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.|
|Nominator||Major parties (normally)|
|Term length||At the House's pleasure; elected at the beginning of the new Congress by a majority of the representatives-elect, and upon a vacancy during a Congress.|
|Constituting instrument||United States Constitution|
|Formation||March 4, 1789|
|First holder||Frederick Muhlenberg|
April 1, 1789
The speaker of the United States House of Representatives, commonly known as the speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives. The office was established in 1789 by Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. The speaker is the political and parliamentary leader of the House of Representatives, and is simultaneously the House's presiding officer, de facto leader of the body's majority party, and the institution's administrative head. Speakers also perform various other administrative and procedural functions. Given these several roles and responsibilities, the speaker usually does not personally preside over debates. That duty is instead delegated to members of the House from the majority party. Neither does the speaker regularly participate in floor debates.
The Constitution does not require the speaker to be an incumbent member of the House of Representatives, although every speaker thus far has been.The speaker is second in the United States presidential line of succession, after the vice president and ahead of the president pro tempore of the Senate.