The Speaker is a constitutional officer who leads the House for a two-year term, manages its operations,
and presides over its sessions. He is elected by his fellow Representatives. Among his most important
duties are the appointment of committee members
and selection of their Chairs. Chairs are key figures in the legislative process and play an important
role in determining content of legislation considered by the House.
The Speaker pro tempore
The Speaker pro tempore is also elected by his fellow Representatives. In the event of an interim
vacancy through death, resignation, or disability, the Speaker pro tempore may exercise the authority of
the Speaker. The Speaker pro tempore often presides
in the Chamber when the Speaker leaves the Chair.
The Partisan Offices
Both the Republican and Democratic Members of the House elect their own leaders. The Speaker appoints a
Majority Leader who, along with the leader of the minority party, is expected to actively articulate his
or her party’s viewpoint on the House floor
The Republicans and Democrats have a formalized leadership structure. The Republican
officers, in addition to the Speaker and Speaker pro tempore, include the Majority Leader, Deputy
Majority Leader, Majority Whip,
and Deputy Whips.
The Democratic officers include the Democratic Leader, Democratic Leader pro
tempore, Democratic Caucus Chair and Vice Chair, Co-Floor Leaders, and Democratic Whips.