With the resignation of John Boehner at the end of October a political scrum will soon commence for the top spot among the Republican House members. Conservatives will seek to grasp power as the most powerful person in the House while establishment Republicans will seek to have someone who is of the same ilk as the Ohio Congressman who sought compromise on thorny issues he felt would harm the GOP in the next elections.
As the struggle will continue and names will be tossed around, it is best to look at the unlikeliest candidate out there: Donald Trump.
While the billionaire businessman is busy running for President of the United States he is missing out on the more influential job. As president, all Trump can do is sign a few executive orders and bully his political enemies. But as Speaker of the House, the Donald could force the next president to succumb to his desires by threatening shutdowns and veto overrides whenever the occupier of 1600 Pennsylvania tries to work around him.
The position of the Speaker is the place to be if you want to get things done. You can create a caucus of Trumpites, men and women dedicated to whipping the votes in the businessman’s favor and pushing through even the most contentious legislative initiatives. Need a wall built and paid for by Mexico? Threaten to pull funding for any pet project of the Democrats until they give in. Want to create hundreds of thousands of jobs? Force the president to accept your policies in favor of not needling the Senate on an important treaty.
I’m sure a lot of people right now are questioning how Trump can be speaker if he isn’t in Congress. The answer is simple: you don’t have to be elected to Congress. The qualifications for Speaker is laid out in the U.S. Constitution’s first article in the second section:
“The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”
All that is required to become speaker is to be chosen by the House of Representatives. In theory, anyone in the United States, or the world, could achieve the top spot in the lower chamber of Congress. That means Trump needs to be buddying up with a couple hundred of his closest friends in Washington. He has publicly stated that elected officials have done many things for him because he gives them millions of dollars. Instead of spreading the money around for small favors it’s time to dole out the cash for this one big favor. Become speaker and make the changes you need.
There is no need to await the vote of the American people. It is instead time to grasp onto the power he seeks and transform the role of the House’s top leader into the powerful position it once was. Throughout America’s history the role of the most powerful person in Washington has oscillated between the president and the speaker, with the last most powerful speaker being Joseph Cannon in the early 19th Century, also a Republican. Since then, the president has been gaining control, the largest grasp coming when Franklin Roosevelt occupied the White House.
Trump’s ascension to the House would almost immediately suck power away from the Obama administration, creating new strength for the People’s Chamber and forcing the Democrats to succumb to his will as the new most powerful person in Washington.
On an entertainment side, imagine the fun of watching the real estate mogul’s face as Obama or the next president gives the annual State of the Union Address? How quotable would his press conferences be, sitting in the speaker’s office and calling Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell losers for disagreeing with him? Republicans would have sold-out fundraisers whenever they would host their boss out in the districts and television cameras would flock to their events looking for the most quotable of statements.
As long as Trump is wanting to “Make America Great Again,” he might as well look at the most expedient and effective way to do it, become Speaker of the House of Representatives.