House of Representatives

  • What Can We Learn from the 1923 Speaker Fight?

    by Christopher McKnight Nichols and Maxine Wagenhoffer

    Intraparty factionalism was prevalent then as now, but the most recent speaker battle shows that the forces of party discipline that could moderate factional strife have fallen away, making bomb-throwing and grandstanding politically rewarding. 

  • House Arrest: How An Automated Algorithm Constrained Congress for a Century

    In 1929, Congress adopted a formula for apportionment based on the Census. While made political disputes a matter of law, it also capped the size of the House, which has not kept up with population growth and contributed to the disproportionate influence of small states in the House and the Electoral College.

  • What does the Speaker of the House do?

    by Rachel Caufield

    Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of the House, just announced his retirement, and the race to replace him started before his announcement. What is the speaker's role? How has it changed over history?