Democrat unveils bill to allow only House members to serve as Speaker

A new bill introduced on Monday by Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) would allow only an elected House member to serve as Speaker after former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement MORE called the suggestion that he seek the gavel "so interesting."

The Constitution does not directly state that the House Speaker must be a member of the chamber, but to date, the role has never been filled by an outsider.

Boyle argued that the statute should be made clear, even if electing someone outside of Congress to serve as Speaker remains a long shot. His bill, titled the Mandating That Being an Elected Member Be an Essential Requirement for Speakership Act, would explicitly limit eligibility to current House lawmakers.

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"The Speaker of the U.S. House is second in the United States presidential line of succession. That Donald Trump's name would even be tossed around as a potential speaker in the people’s house, should serve as an alarm bell that our current requirements need to be amended in the name of protecting our nation and our democracy," Boyle said in a statement.

While all Speakers in U.S. history have been incumbent members of the House, any lawmaker can nominate whomever they wish during the roll call at the start of each session of Congress to elect the chamber's top-ranking leader.

In recent years, some lawmakers who didn't want to vote for their party's leader have opted to nominate outsiders.

In January 2019, for example, two Democrats voted for Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthOvernight Defense: Senators reach billion deal on emergency Capitol security bill | House panel looks to help military sexual assault survivors | US increases airstrikes to help Afghan forces fight Taliban Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan infrastructure deal 10 books that take readers inside the lives of American leaders MORE (D-Ill.), another voted for now-President BidenJoe BidenThe Supreme Court and blind partisanship ended the illusion of independent agencies Missed debt ceiling deadline kicks off high-stakes fight Senate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session MORE, and yet another voted for voting rights activist and 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

And at the start of the current session of Congress in January, Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) voted for Duckworth, Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) cast his vote for House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesJeffries: 'Sick and cynical' for GOP to blame Pelosi for Jan. 6 Democrat unveils bill to allow only House members to serve as Speaker Progressive fighting turns personal on internal call over antitrust bills MORE (N.Y.), and Democratic Reps. Mikie SherrillRebecca (Mikie) Michelle SherrillDemocrat unveils bill to allow only House members to serve as Speaker Six takeaways: What the FEC reports tell us about the midterm elections Moderate Democrats call for 9/11-style panel to probe COVID-19 origins MORE (N.J.), Elissa SlotkinElissa SlotkinHouse erupts in anger over Jan. 6 and Trump's role House passes host of bills to strengthen cybersecurity in wake of attacks Democrat unveils bill to allow only House members to serve as Speaker MORE (Mich.) and Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerLawmakers can't reconcile weakening the SALT cap with progressive goals Democrat unveils bill to allow only House members to serve as Speaker Moderate Democrats call for 9/11-style panel to probe COVID-19 origins MORE (Va.) voted "present" instead of endorsing Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban House adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban Photos of the Week: Olympic sabre semi-finals, COVID-19 vigil and a loris MORE (D-Calif.).

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Trump last month was asked about the idea of him running for the House next year to try to win the Speaker's gavel during a radio show appearance.

“That’s so interesting,” he said in response to far-right radio host Wayne Allyn Root, noting that others had suggested he run for Senate. "But you know what, your idea might be better. It's very interesting."

Trump, who has floated another potential run for the White House in 2024, later said through a spokesman that he does not want to hold the gavel.

"[Trump] has zero desire to be Speaker," Trump spokesman Jason Miller told Punchbowl News.

While a handful of Democrats cast votes for people other than Pelosi in January, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthySunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate After police rip Trump for Jan. 6, McCarthy again blames Pelosi Capitol Police asked to arrest the maskless MORE (R-Calif.) did not face any defections from Republicans at the time.