A DEMOCRATIC congressman has introduced a new bill that would block Donald Trump from becoming the Speaker of the House after he expressed interest in assuming the role.
Pennsylvania Rep. Brendan Doyle introduced the MEMBERS ACT on Monday which, if signed into law, would ensure that only elected members of the House of Representatives could serve as the Speaker.
The bill seeks to address what is essentially a constitutional loophole.
The constitution does not currently require the Speaker to be a member of the House, meaning someone who isn't a current congressional lawmaker – such as Trump – could be appointed to the position by the GOP if they triumph in the 2022 midterms.
Boyle's bill would prevent Trump from taking the gavel unless he were to win a congressional seat and join the House.
'AN ALARM BELL'
"The Speaker of the US House is second in the United States presidential line of succession," Boyle said in a statement.
"That Donald Trump's name would even be tossed around as a potential speaker in the people’s house, should serve as an alarm bell that our current requirements need to be amended in the name of protecting our nation and our democracy."
All Speakers in US history have been incumbent members of the house.
However, a lawmaker can nominate whomever they want for the role of the chamber's top-ranking leader during the roll call at the start of each session of Congress.
And recently, a number of Republican lawmakers and commentators have made the suggestion that should Trump not run for president again in 2024, then he should consider becoming the House speaker if Republicans regain control of the chamber.
Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz has been a vocal proponent of the idea – even including calls for Trump to become speaker in his fundraising emails.
Q-Anon conspiracy theorist-turned-congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene further suggested that Trump should assume the role of Speaker to impeach President Joe Biden.
When asked about the proposal during an interview with far-right radio host Wayne Allyn Root last month, Trump called the idea "so interesting."
"Yeah, you know it's very interesting," Trump added, saying that others had suggested he run for Senate. "But you know what, your idea might be better. It's very interesting."
But in the weeks since, Trump spokesman Jason Miller said the former president has "zero desire to be Speaker."
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claims Trump’s backing him for his inevitable bid for the speakership.
Still, Boyle deems his bill necessary, adding in his statement: "This legislation would establish that mandate in very clear and direct language, and it would serve as a check against those who would seek to undermine and derogate the authority and responsibilities of the Speaker’s office."
While the Speaker has always been an elected member of Congress, several non-members have previously received votes during speaker elections.
Most recently, former Rep. Anthony Brindisi, a Democrat from New York, voted for President Joe Biden in 2019 due to his opposition to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Trump, meanwhile, has continued to tout another White House bid.
When asked by Fox News host Maria Bartiromo last week whether he'll run in the next election, Trump said: "I absolutely know my answer, and we’re going to do very well and people are going to be very happy.”
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