The speaker of the House always holds greater power in Congress which is a national legislative body of the US. The potential power of the speaker is even more than the others. Therefore, keeping the speaker in succession to the president can be significant. Before 19th century, this trend of succession was not implemented. The protocol stated that the person to succeed Vice-president would be the senate’s President for the time being. This created a problem in 1881. On that year the existing President James Garfield was assassinated and even the Vice-president Chester Allen Arthur was ill. At that moment there was no elected officer to take up the position as the Congress was not in power.
Due to this incident the protocol change and the secretary of state was appointed to be next in line after the Vice-president. This also did not work out properly. After that in the year 1945, President Harry Truman suggested in keeping the Speaker of the Senate House and then the Senate President ahead of the secretary for the succession after the President. This was solely because it was thought to be legal that the President should not be able to decide his successor while deciding for the Secretary of the State. More logical successor could be the Speaker of the Senate who is elected by the people of the nation. It is also seen sometimes that the two congressional leaders, that is, the Senate President and the Senate Speaker were more experienced in making decisions than the Senate Secretary. The Senate speaker represents the leader of the lower house which is commonly called House of Representatives and every speaker has served being a member of the House of Representatives until his term of duty as a speaker.
Sometimes there is a clash between the President chosen by the U.S. senate and the Speaker. In such as case the senator of the majority party fulfilling the highest duration of service gets the opportunity of filing the position of the President. The congress supported this view and placed the speaker ahead of the members of the cabinet in the order of their position of establishment. This system of succession was started by President Harry Truman who also discovered another legit reason for the success of this protocol. It was seen by him that the House of Representatives is more likely to agree with the President and Vice-president in the political matters. He further pointed out that if a Republican has to succeed instead of a democratic presidency, then it would further complicate the situation and would lead to instability in politics.
There were many critics to the view of President Harry Truman. They argued that Truman had a dislike of the President pro tempore who was then currently in position and due to his dislike he made such amendments in the system. Overcoming such critics, he was able to move forward perfectly with this system of protocol and it was finally signed by law. After the protocol was made legal, Republican House Speaker Joseph W. Martin was placed first in the line of succession after the Vice President.
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