House of Representatives
Historian Joanne Freeman on What Follows Speaker Battle
"It would be hard to exaggerate the degree to which rules can be weapons in Congress if they're deployed the right way."
SOURCE: New York Times
Laugh at McCarthy's Travails, but History Shows Chaotic Congress Isn't a Joke
by Joanne B. Freeman
Protracted Speakership battles have always reflected moments where factions struggled over power in ways that the party systems of the day couldn't contain. Today, the differences at stake aren't about policy, but power, making the moment particularly dire.
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
What Can We Learn from the 1923 Speaker Fight?
by Christopher McKnight Nichols and Maxine Wagenhoffer
Intraparty factionalism was prevalent then as now, but the most recent speaker battle shows that the forces of party discipline that could moderate factional strife have fallen away, making bomb-throwing and grandstanding politically rewarding.
"You Don't Have the Votes": The House Speaker Fight Echoes 1839
by Michael Trapani
With multiple votes, partisan hostility, and charges of an electoral "steal" in the air, the House Speaker battle of 1839 offers a compelling comparison to today.
SOURCE: Washington Post
The Constitution Won't Be Much Help Resolving the Speaker Mess
While the Constitution requires the House to choose it's speaker, it gives no guidance how. Usually custom and party discipline are sufficient to accomplish the task, but not always.
SOURCE: Washington Post
When the House Needed 133 Votes to Pick a Speaker
by Ronald G. Shafer
Kevin McCarthy's unfolding nightmare of failing to unify his party has nothing on the battle to choose a Speaker in 1855 (so far).
Stuck At 435 Representatives? Why The U.S. House Hasn't Grown With Census Counts
Legislation passed in 1929 sets a cap on the size of the US House of Representatives, making the decennial census a high-stakes battle for precious seats. Expanding the House would make it more democratic and avoid taking existing seats away.
SOURCE: Data & Society
House Arrest: How An Automated Algorithm Constrained Congress for a Century
In 1929, Congress adopted a formula for apportionment based on the Census. While made political disputes a matter of law, it also capped the size of the House, which has not kept up with population growth and contributed to the disproportionate influence of small states in the House and the Electoral College.
SOURCE: Washington Post
‘Grand inquisitors of the realm’: How Congress got its power to investigate and subpoena
As House Democrats probe the Trump administration, a look back at a Founding Father who wanted his record examined.
It’s Boehner’s turn: Inside D.C. memoir on the way
The tentative title suggests the former House speaker intends to portray himself as a throwback to a bygone era.
SOURCE: The Washington Post
A fanatic and 'Negro-stealer’: One of the ugliest House speaker fights in history
In 1859, the House went to war over Rep. John Sherman’s leadership bid.
What Are the Chances that a Member of the House of Representatives Will Be Our Next President?
by Ronald L. Feinman
There are seven (potential) candidates.
SOURCE: The Conversation
What does the Speaker of the House do?
by Rachel Caufield
Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of the House, just announced his retirement, and the race to replace him started before his announcement. What is the speaker's role? How has it changed over history?
Meet Matthew Wasneiwski: The Historian of the United States House of Representatives
by David O’Connor
By being fair and nonpartisan he’s managed to remain House Historian since 2010.
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