House Speaker shuffle

Katie Couric
·Global Anchor

By Kaye Foley

It’s official. Rep. Paul Ryan is running to be Rep. John Boehner’s replacement as speaker of the House.

When Boehner announced on Sept. 25 that he would be resigning, it was front-page news and caused a scramble to figure out who would fill his shoes.

A few names were tossed into the ring, but when majority leader and heir apparent, Kevin McCarthy dropped out of the race on Oct. 8, it added even more uncertainty to the future of the House leadership. But many in the House urged Rep. Ryan to run for the top spot.

After initial resistance, Ryan has acknowledged that this is “a very dire moment.” He outlined a couple of conditions and said if the party can unify behind him, he will consider running for the role. He has secured the backing of all three groups within the House GOP.

So what’s the road to taking a seat in the speaker’s rostrum?

The speaker of the House is voted in by the entire House of Representatives —Republicans and Democrats. The majority party, however, typically dictates who gets the top spot because they have the numbers on their side. Right now, Republicans have the advantage. The speaker doesn’t have to be a member of Congress, but they always have been.

The speaker sets the legislative agenda on all kinds of issues, appoints members to committees, presides over all joint sessions, fundraises for the party and represents the House to the outside world. The speaker is also the second in line to succeed to the presidency, after the vice president.

So will Rep. Ryan be the next to wield the gavel? The House GOP is meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 28 to make their nominee selection official, and the full House votes the next day.

So, as the speaker of the House shuffle gets sorted out, after watching this video you can say, “Now I get it.”