On the heels of dysfunction in the Republican leadership in Washington D.C. and tension among GOP members of Congress, eight Republican legislators just announced their position that the US House of Representatives does not need a Speaker of the House.
The eight legislators are mostly part of the conservative “Freedom Caucus.” These representatives, who come from red districts in the Midwest and the South, are taking a conservative stance against the position of House Speaker. Calling for an end to the congressional tradition since 1789, these eight legislators are likely to face opposition from Democratic and Republican legislators alike– Republican members whose districts lean more towards the center, or who are more willing to compromise, are unlikely to take a stance against Speaker of the House.
The eight legislators calling for the removal of Speaker of the House are using a number of arguments to support their call. Citing the current state of American politics and the gridlock that many feel has been created by the current form of leadership, the legislators argue that if their proposal were adopted, members of Congress could work together more easily in addressing the needs of the nation. Additionally, the legislators cite their belief that the Speaker of the House has become something of a “king” when it comes to shaping policy. They argue that, with the removal of Speaker of the House, the power would be more equally divided among members of Congress and that this in turn would allow for a more efficient and productive legislative body.
The proposal put forth by these eight Republican legislators is one of the boldest moves to date by the conservative wing of the Republican Party. While it is still unclear whether the proposal will gain traction within the Republican Party or with the public, one this is for certain: the debate about the removal of Speaker of the House is sure to draw attention from both sides of the aisle.