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Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2017

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. Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2015 Richard S. Beth Specialist on Congress and the Legislative Process Valerie Heitshusen Analyst on Congress and the Legislative Process March 6, 2015 Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov RL30857 c11173008 Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2015 . Summary Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2015 November 3, 2015 (RL30857) Jump to Main Text of Report

Summary

Each new House elects a Speaker by roll call vote when it first convenes. Customarily, the conference of each major party nominates a candidate whose name is placed in nomination. A Member normally votes for the candidate of his or her own party conference but may vote for any individual, whether nominated or not. To be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of all the votes cast for individuals. This number may be less than a majority (now 218) of the full membership of the House because of vacancies, absentees, or Members voting “present.” "present." This report provides data on elections of the Speaker in each Congress since 1913, when the House first reached its present size of 435 Members. During that period (63rd through 114th 63rd through 114th Congresses), a Speaker was elected five times with the votes of less than a majority of the full membership. If a Speaker dies or resigns during a Congress, the House immediately elects a new one. Four Five such elections have been necessaryoccurred since 1913. In the earlier two cases, the House elected the new Speaker by resolution; in the more recent twothree, the body used the same procedure as at the outset of a Congress. If no candidate receives the requisite majority, the roll call is repeated until a Speaker is elected. Since 1913, this procedure has been necessary only in 1923, when nine ballots were required before a Speaker was elected. From 1913 through 1943, it usually happened that some Members voted for candidates other than those of the two major parties. The candidates in question were usually those representing the “progressive” "progressive" group (reformers originally associated with the Republican Party), and in some Congresses, their names were formally placed in nomination on behalf of that group. From 1943 through 1995, only the nominated Republican and Democratic candidates received votes, reflecting the establishment of an exclusively two-party system at the national level. In seven In eight of the 1011 elections since 1997, however, some Members have voted for candidates other than the official nominees of their parties. Only in the initial election in 2015, however, were any such candidates formally placed in nomination. Usually, the additional candidates receiving votes have been other Members of the voter's own party, but in one instance, in 2001, a Member voted for the official nominee of the other party. In 1997, and 2013, and 2015, some Members voted and in both 2015 elections, votes were cast for candidates who were not then Members of the House, including, in 2015the initial 2015 election, sitting Senators. Although the Constitution does not so require, the Speaker has always been a Member of the House. The report will be updated as additional elections for Speaker occur. c11173008 Congressional Research Service Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2015 . Contents Regular and Special Elections of the Speaker ................................................................................. 1 Size of the House and Majority Required to Elect .......................................................................... 1 Third and Additional Candidates ..................................................................................................... 3 Tables Table 1. Individuals Receiving Votes for Speaker, 1913-2015 ........................................................ 5 Contacts Author Contact Information............................................................................................................. 9 c11173008 Congressional Research Service

The report will be updated as additional elections for Speaker occur.

Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2015 . Regular and Special Elections of the Speaker The traditional practice of the House is to elect a Speaker by roll call vote upon first convening after a general election of Representatives.11 Customarily, the conference of each major party in the House selects a candidate whose name is formally placed in nomination before the roll call. A Member may vote for one of these nominated candidates or for another individual.2 In the great majority of cases, Members vote for the candidate nominated by their own party conferences, since the outcome of this vote in effect establishes which party has the majority and therefore will organize the House. Table 1 presents data on the votes cast for candidates for Speaker of the House of Representatives in each Congress from 1913 (63rd63rd Congress) through 2015 (114th114th Congress). It shows the votes cast for the nominees of the two major parties, other candidates nominated from the floor, and individuals not formally nominated. Included in the table are not only the elections held regularly at the outset of each Congress but also those held during the course of a Congress as a result of the death or resignation of a sitting Speaker. Such elections have occurred fourfive times during the period examined:in 1936 (74th74th Congress) upon the death of Speaker Joseph Byrns; in 1940 (76th76th Congress) upon the death of Speaker William Bankhead; in 1962 (87th87th Congress) upon the death of Speaker Sam Rayburn; and • in 1989 (101st101st Congress) upon the resignation of Speaker Jim Wright. ; and
  • in 2015 (114th Congress) upon the resignation of Speaker John Boehner.
  • On the two earlier occasions among these fourfive, the election was by resolution rather than by roll call vote. On the more recent twothree, the same procedure was followed as at the start of a Congress. Size of the House and Majority Required to Elect The data presented here cover the period during which the permanent size of the House has been set at 435 Members. This period corresponds to that since the admission of Arizona and New Mexico as the 47th and 48th47th and 48th states in 1912. The actual size of the House was 436, and then 437, for a brief period between the admission of Alaska and Hawaii (in 1958 and 1959) and the reapportionment of Representatives following the 1960 census. By practice of the House going back to its earliest days, an absolute majority of the Members present and voting is required in order to elect a Speaker. A majority of the full membership of the House (218, in a House of 435) is not required. Precedents emphasize that the requirement is for a majority of "the total number of votes cast for a person by name.”2 A candidate for Speaker may 1 Until the 1830s, the Speaker was elected by secret ballot. See Asher C. Hinds, Hinds’ Precedents of the House of Representative of the United States, vol. I (Washington: GPO, 1906), sec. 187, 204-211. Also see Jeffrey A. Jenkins and Charles Stewart III, Fighting for the Speakership: The House and the Rise of Party Government (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013). 2 The Clerk, “Parliamentary Inquiry,” remarks from the chair, Congressional Record, vol. 143, January 7, 1997, p. 117. “The Speaker is elected by a majority of Members-elect voting by surname, a quorum being present.” Wm. Holmes Brown, Charles W. Johnson, and John V. Sullivan, House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents, and Procedures (continued...) c11173008 Congressional Research Service 1 Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2015 . "3 A candidate for Speaker may receive a majority of the votes cast, and be elected, while failing to obtain a majority of the full membership because some Members either are not present to vote or vote “present”"present" rather than voting for a candidate. During the period examined, this kind of result has occurred five times:in 1917 (65th65th Congress), “Champ”"Champ" Clark was elected with 217 votes; in 1923 (68th68th Congress), Frederick Gillett was elected with 215 votes; in 1943 (78th78th Congress), Sam Rayburn was elected with 217 votes; in 1997 (105th105th Congress), Newt Gingrich was elected with 216 votes; and in 2015 (114th114th Congress), John Boehner was elected with 216 votes. In addition, in 1931 (72nd72nd Congress), the candidate of the new Democratic majority, John Nance Garner (later Vice President), received 218 votes, a bare majority of the membership. The table does not take into account the number of vacancies existing in the House at the time of the election; it therefore cannot show whether any Speaker may have been elected lacking a majority of the then qualified membership of the House.3 4 If no candidate obtains the requisite majority, the roll call is repeated. On these subsequent ballots, Members may still vote for any individual; no restrictions have ever been imposed. , such as that the lowest candidate on each ballot must drop out, or that no new candidate may enter. Because of the predominance of the two established national parties throughout the period examined, only once during that period did the House fail to elect on the first roll call.45 In 1923 (68th (68th Congress), in a closely divided House, both major party nominees initially failed to gain a majority because of votes cast for other candidates by Members from the Progressive Party or from the “progressive”"progressive" wing of the Republican Party. ProgressivesMany of these Members agreed to vote for the Republican candidate only on the ninth ballot, after the Republican leadership had agreed to accept a number of procedural reforms favored by the progressivesthese Members favored. Thus the Republican was ultimately elected, although (as noted earlier) still with less than a majority of the full membership.5 (...continued) of the House (Washington: GPO, 2011), ch. 34, sec. 3. See also the same phraseology in U.S. Congress, House, Constitution, Jefferson’s Manual, and Rules of the House of Representatives, One Hundred Thirteenth Congress, (compiled by) Thomas J. Wickham, Parliamentarian, 112th Cong. 2nd sess., H.Doc. 112-161 (Washington: GPO, 2013), sec. 27. 3 The existence of vacancies at the point when a new House first convened was more common before the 20th Amendment took effect in 1936. Until that time, a Congress elected in one November did not begin its term until March of the following year, and did not convene until December of that year, unless the previous Congress provided otherwise by law. 4 This occurrence, however, was more common before the period covered in this report, when the two-party system had not become as thoroughly established nor the discipline accompanying it as pronounced. 5 Full results were as follows: Ballot and Date 1 December 3, 1923 2 December 3 3 December 3 4 December 3 5 December 4 6 December 4 (continued...) c11173008 Congressional Research Service Gillett (R) Garrett (D) Cooper Madden Present 197 194 195 197 197 195 195 194 196 196 197 197 17 17 17 17 17 17 5 6 5 5 5 5 4 3 3 3 3 3 2 Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2015 . ultimately elected, although (as noted earlier) still with less than a majority of the full membership.6 Third and Additional Candidates In the first portion of the period covered by Table 1, it was common for candidates other than those of the two major parties to receive votes. Such action occurred in 11 of the 16 Congresses (63rd-78th (63rd-78th) that convened from 1913 through 1943. On seven of those 11 occasions, candidates other than those of the two major parties were formally nominated. These events reflect chiefly the influence in Congress, during those three decades, of the progressive movement. The additional nominations were offered in the name of that movement, and the votes cast for Members other than the major party nominees also generally represent an expression of progressive sentiments. During this period, the occurrence of additional nominations (displayed in the table) reflects changing views of Members identifying themselves as “progressives”"progressives" about whether to constitute themselves in the House as a separate Progressive Party caucus or as a wing of the Republican Party. So does the pattern of shifts in the party labels by which these nominees and others receiving votes chose to designate themselves. The last formal Progressive Party nominee appeared in 1937 (75th75th Congress). After defeats in the following election, the only two remaining Members representing the Progressive Party were reduced to voting for each other for Speaker, and beginning in 1947 (80th80th Congress), the last standard bearer of the tendency accepted the Republican label. The demise of this movement in the House represented the final stage in the establishment of a two-party system at the national level. From 1945 through 1995 (79th-104th79th-104th Congresses), only the official nominees of the two major parties received votes for Speaker. This pattern, in other words, persisted from the end of World War II and the advent of the "modern Congress”6"7 until after the Republicans had regained the majority in the 104th104th Congress (1995-1996) after four decades as the minority party. During this period, the presumption became firmly established that a Member's vote for Speaker will reliably reflect his or her party membership. The opening of the 105th105th Congress in 1997, accordingly, marked the first time since 1943 that anyone other than the two major party candidates received votes for Speaker. In seveneight of the 10 11 speakership elections since then (1997-2015), at least one Member has voted for a candidate other than ones formally nominated by the major party conferences. Early in this period, votes cast for other candidates seem to have usually reflected specific circumstances and events, but in the most recent instances, some of them may be regarded as reflecting action by identifiable political factions or groupings. During this period, only in the initial election of 2015 have the names of any candidates other than those of the party conferences been formally placed in nomination. The 1997, 2013, and The 1997 and 2013 ballots and both 2015 ballots were also notable because votes were cast for candidates who were not Members of the House at the time, and in the initial election in 2015, two of these were sitting Members of 2015, two of these were sitting Members of (...continued) 7 December 4 8 December 4 9 December 5 196 197 215 198 198 197 17 17 0 5 5 2 3 3 4 6 The “modern Congress” is usually reckoned from the implementation in the 80th Congress (1947-1948) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (P.L. 79-601, 60 Stat. 812). c11173008 Congressional Research Service 3 Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2015 . the Senate. Although the Constitution does not require the Speaker (or any other officer of either chamber) to be a Member, the Speaker has always been so, and it is not known that any votes for individuals other than Members to be Speaker had ever previously been cast in the history of the House. Notably, in 2001, a Member who bore the designation of one major party voted for the nominee of the other. Although the table below does not indicate the party affiliation of the Members voting for each candidate, examination of other available records confirms that no such action had occurred at least for the previous half century.7 7 Subsequently, in organizing for that Congress (the 107th), the party caucus against whose nominee the Member voted declined to provide him with committee assignments. c11173008 Congressional Research Service 4 Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2013 . Table 1. Individuals Receiving Votes for Speaker, 1913-2015 Year Republican Nominee Votes 1913 James R. Mann (IL) 111 James B. (“Champ”) Clark (MO) 272 Votes 1915 James R. Mann (IL) 195 James B. (“Champ”) Clark (MO) 222 1917 James R. Mann (IL) 205 James B. (“Champ”) Clark (MO) 217 1919 had occurred at least for the previous half century.8 Table 1. Individuals Receiving Votes for Speaker, 1913-2015

    Year

    Republican Nominee

    Votes

    Democratic Nominee

    Votes

    Others Receiving Votes

    Votes

    1913

    James R. Mann (IL)

    111

    James B. ("Champ") Clark (MO)

    272

    Victor Murdock (P-KS) Henry A. Cooper (R-WI) John M. Nelson (R-WI) 18 4 1

    1915

    James R. Mann (IL)

    195

    James B. ("Champ") Clark (MO)

    222

       

    1917

    James R. Mann (IL)

    205

    James B. ("Champ") Clark (MO)

    217

    Irvine L. Lenroot (R-WI) Frederick H. Gillett (R-MA) 2 2

    1919

    Frederick H. Gillett (MA)

    228

    (MA) 228 James B. (“Champ”"Champ") Clark (MO) 172 1921

    172

       

    1921

    Frederick H. Gillett (MA)

    297

    Claude Kitchin (NC)

    122

       

    1923 (first ballot)

    Frederick H. Gillett (MA)

    197

    Finis J. Garrett (TN)

    195

    (MA) 297 Claude Kitchin (NC) 122 1923 (first ballot) Frederick H. Gillett (MA) 197 Finis J. Garrett (TN) (ninth ballot) Frederick H. Gillett (MA) 215 1925 Nicholas Longworth (OH) 1927 Others Receiving Votes Votes Victor Murdock (P-KS) Henry A. Cooper (R-WI) Martin B. Madden (R-IL) 17 5

    (ninth ballot)

    Frederick H. Gillett (MA)

    215

    Finis J. Garrett (TN)

    197

    (R-WI) John M. Nelson (R-WI) 18 4 1 Irvine L. Lenroot (R-WI) Frederick H. Gillett (R-MA) 2 2 195 Henry A. Cooper (R-WI) Martin B. Madden (R-IL) 17 5 Finis J. Garrett (TN) 197 Martin B. Madden (R-IL)

    2

    1925

    Nicholas Longworth (OH)

    229

    Finis J. Garrett (TN)

    173

    (R-IL) 2 229 Finis J. Garrett (TN) 173 Henry A. Cooper (R-WI) 13

    13

    1927

    Nicholas Longworth (OH)

    225

    Finis J. Garrett (TN)

    187

       

    1929

    (OH) 225 Finis J. Garrett (TN) 187 1929 Nicholas Longworth (OH)

    254

    John N. Garner (TX)

    143

       

    1931

    Bertrand H. Snell (NY)

    207

    (OH) 254 John N. Garner (TX) 143 1931 Bertrand H. Snell (NY) 207 John N. Garner (TX)

    218

    George J. Schneider (R-WI)

    5

    1933

    Bertrand H. Snell (NY)

    110

    (TX) 218 George J. Schneider (R-WI) 5 1933 Bertrand H. Snell (NY) 110 Henry T. Rainey (IL) 302

    302

    Paul J. Kvale (F-L-MN)

    5

    1935

    Bertrand H. Snell (NY)

    95

    (F-L-MN) 5 1935 Bertrand H. Snell (NY) 95 Joseph W. Byrns (TN)

    317

    (TN) 317 George J. Schneider (P-WI) W.P. Lambertson (R-KS) 9 2 9 2 1936 (June 4)a     William B. Bankhead (AL) (H.Res. 543)b 1936 (June 4)a voice vote 1937 Bertrand H. Snell (NY) 83 b

    voice vote

       

    1937

    Bertrand H. Snell (NY)

    83

    William B. Bankhead (AL)

    324

    (AL) 324 George J. Schneider (P-WI) Fred L. Crawford (R-MI) 10 2 1939 Joseph W. Martin (MA) 168 10 2

    1939

    Joseph W. Martin (MA)

    168

    William B. Bankhead (AL)

    249

    (AL) 249 Merlin Hull (P-WI) Bernard J. Gehrmann (P-WI) 1 1 1 1 1940 (Sept. 16)a     Sam Rayburn (TX) (H.Res. 602)b

    voice vote

       

    1941

    Joseph W. Martin (MA)

    159

    (TX) (H.Res. 602)b 1940 (Sept. 16)a c11173008 Democratic Nominee voice vote 1941 Joseph W. Martin (MA) 159 Sam Rayburn (TX)

    247

    (TX) 247 Merlin Hull (P-WI) Bernard J. Gehrmann (P-WI) 2 1 1943 Joseph W. Martin (MA) 206 2 1

    1943

    Joseph W. Martin (MA)

    206

    Sam Rayburn (TX)

    217

    TX) 217 Merlin Hull (P-WI) Harry Sauthoff (P-WI) 1 1 CRS-5 Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2013 . c11173008 Year Republican Nominee Votes 1945 Joseph W. Martin (MA) 168 Harry Sauthoff (P-WI) 1 1

    1945

    Joseph W. Martin (MA)

    168

    Sam Rayburn (TX)

    224

       

    1947

    (TX) 224 1947 Joseph W. Martin (MA)

    244

    Sam Rayburn (TX)

    182

       

    1949

    Joseph W. Martin (MA)

    160

    (MA) 244 Sam Rayburn (TX) 182 1949 Joseph W. Martin (MA) 160 Sam Rayburn (TX)

    255

       

    1951

    Joseph W. Martin (MA)

    193

    (TX) 255 1951 Joseph W. Martin (MA) 193 Sam Rayburn (TX)

    231

       

    1953

    (TX) 231 1953 Joseph W. Martin (MA)

    220

    Sam Rayburn (TX)

    201

       

    1955

    Joseph W. Martin (MA)

    198

    (MA) 220 Sam Rayburn (TX) 201 1955 Joseph W. Martin (MA) 198 Sam Rayburn (TX)

    228

       

    1957

    Joseph W. Martin (MA)

    199

    (TX) 228 1957 Joseph W. Martin (MA) 199 Sam Rayburn (TX)

    227

       

    1959

    Charles A. Halleck (IN)

    148

    (TX) 227 1959 Charles A. Halleck (IN) 148 Sam Rayburn (TX)

    281

       

    1961

    Charles A. Halleck (IN)

    170

    (TX) 281 1961 Charles A. Halleck (IN) 170 Sam Rayburn (TX)

    258

        1962 (Jan. 10)a

    Charles A. Halleck (IN)

    166

    (TX) 258 1962 (Jan. 10)a Charles A. Halleck (IN) 166 John W. McCormack (MA)

    248

       

    1963

    Charles A. Halleck (IN)

    175

    (MA) 248 1963 Charles A. Halleck (IN) 175 John W. McCormack (MA)

    256

       

    1965

    Gerald R. Ford (MI)

    139

    (MA) 256 1965 Gerald R. Ford (MI) 139 John W. McCormack (MA)

    289

       

    1967

    Gerald R. Ford (MI)

    186

    (MA) 289 1967 Gerald R. Ford (MI) 186 John W. McCormack (MA)

    246

       

    1969

    Gerald R. Ford (MI)

    187

    (MA) 246 1969 Gerald R. Ford (MI) 187 John W. McCormack (MA)

    241

       

    1971

    Gerald R. Ford (MI)

    176

    (MA) 241 1971 Gerald R. Ford (MI) 176 Carl B. Albert (OK)

    250

       

    1973

    Gerald R. Ford (MI)

    188

    (OK) 250 1973 Gerald R. Ford (MI) 188 Carl B. Albert (OK)

    236

       

    1975

    John J. Rhodes (AZ)

    143

    (OK) 236 1975 John J. Rhodes (AZ) 143 Carl B. Albert (OK)

    287

       

    1977

    John J. Rhodes (AZ)

    142

    Thomas P. ("Tip") O'Neill (MA)

    290

       

    1979

    John J. Rhodes (AZ)

    152

    Thomas P. ("Tip") O'Neill (MA)

    268

       

    1981

    Robert H. Michel (IL)

    183

    Thomas P. ("Tip") O'Neill (MA)

    233

       

    1983

    Robert H. Michel (IL)

    155

    Thomas P. ("Tip") O'Neill (MA)

    260

       

    1985

    Robert H. Michel (IL)

    175

    Thomas P. ("Tip") O'Neill (MA)

    247

       

    1987

    Robert H. Michel (IL)

    173

    (OK) 287 1977 John J. Rhodes (AZ) 142 Thomas P. (“Tip”) O’Neill (MA) 290 1979 John J. Rhodes (AZ) 152 Thomas P. (“Tip”) O’Neill (MA) 268 1981 Robert H. Michel (IL) 183 Thomas P. (“Tip”) O’Neill (MA) 233 1983 Robert H. Michel (IL) 155 Thomas P. (“Tip”) O’Neill (MA) 260 1985 Robert H. Michel (IL) 175 Thomas P. (“Tip”) O’Neill (MA) 247 1987 Robert H. Michel (IL) 173 Jim Wright (TX)

    254

       

    1989

    Robert H. Michel (IL)

    170

    (TX) 254 1989 Robert H. Michel (IL) 170 Jim Wright (TX)

    253

        1989 (June 6)a

    Robert H. Michel (IL)

    164

    (TX) 253 1989 (June 6)a Robert H. Michel (IL) 164 Thomas S. Foley (WA)

    251

       

    1991

    Robert H. Michel (IL)

    165

    (WA) 251 1991 Robert H. Michel (IL) 165 Thomas S. Foley (WA)

    262

       

    1993

    Robert H. Michel (IL)

    174

    (WA) 262 1993 Robert H. Michel (IL) 174 Thomas S. Foley (WA)

    255

       

    1995

    (WA) 255 CRS-6 Democratic Nominee Votes Others Receiving Votes Votes Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2013 . c11173008 Year Republican Nominee Votes Democratic Nominee Votes 1995 Newt Gingrich (GA)

    228

    Richard A. Gephardt (MO)

    202

       

    1997

    (GA) 228 Richard A. Gephardt (MO) 202 1997 Newt Gingrich (GA)

    216

    Richard A. Gephardt (MO)

    205

    James Leach (R-IA) Robert H. MichelcRobert Walkerc 2 1 1

    1999

    (GA) 216 Richard A. Gephardt (MO) 205 1999 J. Dennis Hastert (IL)

    220

    Richard A. Gephardt (MO)

    205

       

    2001

    (IL) 220 Richard A. Gephardt (MO) 205 2001 J. Dennis Hastert (IL)

    222

    Richard A. Gephardt (MO)

    206

    John P. Murtha (D-PA)

    1

    2003

    (IL) 222 Richard A. Gephardt (MO) 2003 J. Dennis Hastert (IL) 228 2005 J. Dennis Hastert (IL)

    228

    Nancy Pelosi (CA)

    201

    John P. Murtha (D-PA)

    1

    2005

    J. Dennis Hastert (IL)

    226

    Nancy Pelosi (CA)

    199

    John P. Murtha (D-PA)

    1

    2007

    John A. Boehner (OH)

    202

    (IL) 2007 Others Receiving Votes Votes James Leach (R-IA) Robert H. Michelc Robert Walkerc 2 1 1 206 John P. Murtha (D-PA) 1 Nancy Pelosi (CA) 201 John P. Murtha (D-PA) 1 226 Nancy Pelosi (CA) 199 John P. Murtha (D-PA) 1 John A. Boehner (OH) 202 Nancy Pelosi (CA)

    233

       

    2009

    John A. Boehner (OH)

    174

    (CA) 233 2009 John A. Boehner (OH) 174 Nancy Pelosi (CA)

    255

       

    2011

    (CA) 255 2011 John A. Boehner (OH)

    241

    Nancy Pelosi (CA)

    173

    (OH) 241 Nancy Pelosi (CA) 173 Heath Shuler (D-NC) John Lewis (D-GA) Jim Costa (D-CA) Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) Jim Cooper (D-TN) Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) 11 2 1 1 1 1 1 2013 11211111

    2013

    John A. Boehner (OH)

    220

    Nancy Pelosi (CA)

    192

    (OH) 220 Nancy Pelosi (CA) 192 Eric Cantor (R-VA) Allen Westc WestcJim Cooper (D-TN) John Lewis (D-GA) Jim Jordan (R-OH) Colin Powellc Colin PowellcRaúl R. Labrador (R-ID) Justin Amash (R-MI) John Dingell (D-MI) David Walkerc 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 CRS-7 Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2013 . Year Republican Nominee Votes 2015 David Walkerc 3221111111

    2015

    John A. Boehner (OH)

    216

    Nancy Pelosi (CA)

    164

    (OH) 216 Democratic Nominee Nancy Pelosi (CA) Votes 164 Others Receiving Votes Daniel Webster (R-FL) Louie Gohmert (R-TX) Ted S. YohoS. Yoho (R-FL) Jim Jordan (R-OH) Jeff Duncan (R-SC) Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)c Colin Powellc cColin PowellcTrey Gowdy (R-SC) Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) Jim Cooper (D-TN) Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR) Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)c cJohn Lewis (D-GA) Votes 12 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Source: Journals 12322111111111 2015 (Oct. 29)a

    Paul D. Ryan (WI)

    236

    Nancy Pelosi (CA)

    184

    Daniel Webster (R-FL)Colin PowellcJim Cooper (D-TN)John Lewis (D-GA) 9111 Source: Journals
    of the House of Representatives (for 2003-2011, Congressional Record, daily edition, and for 2013 and 2015, Clerk of the House website). Party designations are taken from the Congressional Directory for the respective years since these reflect a Member's official party self-designation; historical sources may differ as to the effective party affiliation of certain individuals. Key: Elected candidate in bold. “Other” candidate’

    Key:

    Elected candidate in bold.

    "Other" candidate'
    s name formally placed in nomination in italic. italic. Party designations of “other”"other" candidates: R = Republican, P = Progressive, F-L = Farmer-Labor. Notes: a.

    Notes:

    a.
    Special election to fill a vacancy in the speakership caused by death or resignation. c11173008 b. b. Elected by resolution, not by roll call from nominations. c. Not a Member of the House at the time. CRS-8 Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2015 . Author Contact Information Richard S. Beth Specialist on Congress and the Legislative Process rbeth@crs.loc.gov, 7-8667 c11173008 Congressional Research Service Valerie Heitshusen Analyst on Congress and the Legislative Process vheitshusen@crs.loc.gov, 7-8635 9 c. Not a Member of the House at the time.

    Author Contact Information

    [author name scrubbed], Specialist on Congress and the Legislative Process ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])
    [author name scrubbed], Specialist on Congress and the Legislative Process ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

    Footnotes

    1.

    Until the 1830s, the Speaker was elected by secret ballot. See Asher C. Hinds, Hinds' Precedents of the House of Representative of the United States, vol. I (Washington: GPO, 1906), sec. 187, 204-211. Also see Jeffrey A. Jenkins and Charles Stewart III, Fighting for the Speakership: The House and the Rise of Party Government (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013).

    2.

    Candidates may vote for themselves, although they have often declined to vote or voted "present." For an example in which both party nominees voted for themselves, see Congressional Record, vol. 153, January 4, 2007, p. 3.

    3.

    The Clerk, "Parliamentary Inquiry," remarks from the chair, Congressional Record, vol. 143, January 7, 1997, p. 117. "The Speaker is elected by a majority of Members-elect voting by surname, a quorum being present." Wm. Holmes Brown, Charles W. Johnson, and John V. Sullivan, House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents, and Procedures of the House (Washington: GPO, 2011), ch. 34, sec. 3. See also the same phraseology in U.S. Congress, House, Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and Rules of the House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, (compiled by) Thomas J. Wickham, Parliamentarian, 114th Cong. 1st sess., H.Doc. 113-181 (Washington: GPO, 2015), sec. 27.

    4.

    The existence of vacancies at the point when a new House first convened was more common before the 20th Amendment took effect in 1936. Until that time, a Congress elected in one November did not begin its term until March of the following year, and did not convene until December of that year, unless the previous Congress provided otherwise by law.

    5.

    This occurrence, however, was more common before the period covered in this report, when the two-party system had not become as thoroughly established nor the discipline accompanying it as pronounced.

    6.

    Full results were as follows:

     

    Ballot and Date

    Gillett (R)

    Garrett (D)

    Cooper

    Madden

    Present

     

    1 December 3, 1923

    197

    195

    17

    5

    4

     

    2 December 3

    194

    194

    17

    6

    3

     

    3 December 3

    195

    196

    17

    5

    3

     

    4 December 3

    197

    196

    17

    5

    3

     

    5 December 4

    197

    197

    17

    5

    3

     

    6 December 4

    195

    197

    17

    5

    3

     

    7 December 4

    196

    198

    17

    5

    3

     

    8 December 4

    197

    198

    17

    5

    3

     

    9 December 5

    215

    197

    0

    2

    4

    7.

    The "modern Congress" is usually reckoned from the implementation in the 80th Congress (1947-1948) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (P.L. 79-601, 60 Stat. 812).

    8.

    Subsequently, in organizing for that Congress (the 107th), the party caucus against whose nominee the Member voted declined to provide him with committee assignments.