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Fighting for the SpeakershipThe House and the Rise of Party Government$
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Jeffery A. Jenkins and Charles Stewart

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691118123

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691118123.001.0001

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Bringing the Selection of House Officers into the Open

Bringing the Selection of House Officers into the Open

(p.76) Chapter 4 Bringing the Selection of House Officers into the Open
Fighting for the Speakership

Jeffery A. Jenkins

Charles Stewart III

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how viva voce voting raised the stakes in speakership elections and all House officer elections more generally. The move to a viva voce vote for House Speaker helped inaugurate an era of contentious fights over the speakership, even as the precipitating events that prompted the change had to do more with the position of the Printer and, to some degree, the Clerk. Thus, opening the choice of House officers to public scrutiny was significant not only to the organization of the chamber itself but also to the broader project of building national political parties. The chapter first considers how the issue of electing House officers was contested on the floor during the 23rd, 25th, 26th, and 27th Congresses before discussing the effects of viva voce voting on House officer nominations and speakership elections. It also highlights the ways in which viva voce voting interacted with region and party.

Keywords:   viva voce voting, speakership elections, Speaker, Printer, Clerk, House officers, political parties, Congress, House officer nominations, House officer elections

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