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Why elected MPs can vote for non-members

WASHINGTON — On the third day of an increasingly bitter stalemate over the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives that swept the House and halted legislative action — and the swearing in of elected members — Florida Republican Matt Goetz threw a new name into the ring as he cast his votes for the speaker: Donald John Trump.

In a struggle between supporters of GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and a small group of Republicans determined to oppose him, to which Gaetz now belongs, Trump has backed McCarthy and tried in vain to persuade dissenters to do the same.

Obviously, Trump is not an elected representative in the US House of Representatives, but a former President of the United States. Why, then, could Goetz vote for him for speaker?

The constitution does not require that the speaker be chosen from among the sitting members of the House of Representatives, or even the sitting members of Congress. He simply instructs the House to choose the speaker and other officers.

But, as the historian of the House of Representatives notes, the Speaker has always been a member of the House of Representatives. According to NBC News, most historians and lawyers who have studied the issue have concluded that the founders simply assumed that the speaker would be chosen from among the elected members.

Getz’s vote for Trump was the first time in the speaker’s race this week that someone voted for a non-member. It’s entirely possible that Goetz wanted to refute the idea that he and his fellow dissenters were at odds with the former president amid his support and defense of McCarthy.

New York Times wrote that it was “possibly an olive branch”.

After former House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, resigned from office in 2015 and the Republican Party fought to have someone replace him, there has been talk of bringing in an outsider like the former Speaker of the House of Representatives. Newt Gingrich or Colin Powell. former Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

While this has never been done, there is nothing in the Constitution that would bar non-members like Trump from serving as speaker if they get votes.

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