Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Preferred Name - First Author

Snoeyenbos, William

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Department of History

Advisor(s)

Raymond Hyser, Ph.D

Abstract

From the early Republic to modern times, the Speaker of the House of Representatives has been the single greatest source of legislative authority within the United States government. Often considered the second-highest ranking U.S official after the President, the Speaker utilizes the distinct tools at their disposal to guide the entire legislative process towards the direction they desire. Broadly, these tools include the ability to set the legislative agenda, control debate, and appoint committee chairs. However, the vastly complex set of rules, guidelines, and procedures which govern the modern House were simply not present when Congress first met in 1789. The formal and informal establishment of House procedures took over a century to refine and develop into what is now a highly regimented network almost entirely controlled by the majority party.

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