Lazy eyes listen
Former US President Donald Trump has indicated his willingness to serve as interim Speaker of the House of Representatives until Republican legislators can agree on the party’s long-term legislative leader.
On Thursday, Trump told Fox News Digital that he would temporarily fill the post of speaker if necessary. “I have been asked to speak as a unifier because I have so many friends in Congress,” he stated. “If they don’t get the vote, they have asked me if I would consider taking the speakership until they get somebody longer-term, because I am running for president.”
Lawmakers are expected to vote next week on a replacement for Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted on Tuesday in the first such removal of a House speaker in US history. Choosing Trump would put the former president in charge of the legislative agenda in the Republican-controlled chamber, even as he polls as the leading candidate for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination.
The former president made his remarks as various media outlets reported that he was planning a trip to Washington next week to meet with Republican leaders and maybe run for Speaker of the House. According to Politico and other media reports, Trump is slated to visit Washington on Tuesday, between his presidential campaign events in New Hampshire on Monday and Florida on Wednesday.
The United States has never had a House speaker who was not also a member of the lower body of Congress, but the Constitution does not preclude a non-member from holding the job. The speaker possesses significant power in the US political system, selecting which legislation are put to a vote and controlling the legislative process.
On Wednesday, Trump fueled rumours by sharing social media messages in which he endorsed himself for the position of House Speaker. One of the posts included a doctored photo showing him wielding the gavel in front of the speaker’s chair.
The former president told Fox News that he was not running for House Speaker, but he was willing to assume the position for 30 to 90 days to give Republican members time to agree on a long-term replacement for McCarthy. Representatives Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Steve Scalise (R-LA) have launched their candidatures for the office.