The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (or Speaker of the House) is the presiding officer of the chamber. The office was established in 1789 by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, which states in part, "The House of Representatives shall choose [sic] their Speaker..." The Constitution does not require that the speaker be an elected Member of Congress, but no non-member has ever been elected to the office.
The speaker is second in the United States presidential line of succession, after the Vice President and ahead of the President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate. Unlike some Westminster system parliaments, in which the office of speaker is considered non-partisan, in the United States, the speakership of the House is a leadership position in the majority party and the office-holder actively works to set that party's legislative agenda; the office is therefore endowed with considerable political power. The Speaker does not usually personally preside over debates, instead delegating the duty to freshman members of the House from the majority party.
Aside from duties relating to heading the House and the majority political party, the Speaker also performs administrative and procedural functions and represents his or her congressional district.
|United States presidential line of succession|
|2nd in line|| Succeeded by|
President pro tempore of the Senate