Speaker of the House: Definition, Role & Duties


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One factor that allows the Speaker of the House to exert influence over the legislative process is his ability to choose a majority of members for this committee, which establishes the guidelines for debate over a bill:

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1. How does a Congressman become the Speaker of the House?

2. This is the Speaker's counterpart in the U.S. Senate:

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

The Speaker of the House occupies a unique and powerful position in America's legislative process, and how much you know about his or her duties and the role he or she plays can be tested using this assessment. This quiz and worksheet covers principles such as how he or she attains that position, what the Speaker's duties are and why this position is so important.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

In these assessments, you'll be tested on key facts about the Speaker of the House, including the following:

  • The committee that establishes the guidelines for debate, and over which the Speaker of the House is responsible for choosing the majority of committee members
  • The method by which the Speaker of the House is selected
  • The Senate counterpart to the Speaker of the House
  • The major difference between the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House
  • The name for the rule of debate that prohibits amendments from the floor and limits the time allowed for debate

Skills Practiced

  • Distinguishing differences - compare and contrast topics from the lesson, such as the role of the Speaker of the House compared to the role of the Senate Majority Leader
  • Making connections - use understanding of the concept of the House of Representatives
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about the duties of the Speaker of the House
  • Defining key concepts - ensure that you can accurately define main phrases, such as closed rule and marking up

Additional Learning

To learn more about this important position, review the accompanying lesson about the Speaker of the House role and duties. This lesson covers the following objectives:

  • Differentiate between the House of Representatives and the Senate and how many members are in each body
  • Know what the leaders of the House and the Senate are called and how they are selected
  • Understand the duties of the Speaker of the House and where he or she stands in the line of succession
  • Differentiate between open rule and closed rule
  • Identify the authority held by the Speaker of the House over committee assignments
  • Define what marking up is