Jim Hohner was a member of the House of Representatives from Illinois and Speaker of the House from 1997 to 2003. Upon his retirement, Missouri Congressman Glen Allen Walken was elected Speaker. Despite often coming into conflict with President Josiah Bartlet, Bartlet described Hohner as "a man of fundamental decency and a public servant of purpose."[1]


In January 2000, Speaker Hohner failed to invite President Bartlet to deliver his State of the Union address, as required by law. This was later fixed by Sam Seaborn.[2]

Hohner was one of the many politicians in Washington who believed that Puerto Rico should eventually receive statehood, and was against the current status of Puerto Rican citizens.[3]

Hohner was present at the bipartisan breakfast hosted by the President Bartlet in early 2001. He sat next to the House Majority Leader.[4]

Hohner was known for being married several times. Sam Seaborn wrote a joke once that stated Hohner would want a line-item veto in his latest pre-nuptial agreement. This was planned to be in the President's remarks at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, but was later cut when they learned the First Lady might not be attending.[5]

Hohner made remarks that suggested President Bartlet was a "fringe" environmentalist in 2001, based on the President's reluctance to put out a forest fire.[6]

He supported the Death Tax Elimination Act along with Vice President Hoynes, before it was vetoed by the President.[7] Hohner then attempted to open an override vote on the President's veto.[8]

Because Hohner was from Illinois, it was considered impossible to pass the Huckleberry Bill that would have eliminated the penny. Hohner would use his Speaker powers to prevent it from reaching a floor vote.[9]

Congressman Gibson believed that the Speaker would be very upset if he were to call off the commission investigating Leo McGarry's alcoholism, but Chairman Bruno did so anyway based on Cliff Calley's suggestions.[10]

In early 2002, Speaker Hohner took steps to issue a censure of President Bartlet for his failure to disclose his multiple sclerosis. He had many conversations with Cliff Calley and President Bartlet before deciding to do so, and passing the censure.[11]

At one point, Toby Ziegler believed that the Speaker wished to repeal the 16th Amendment.[12]

He retired in 2003, and was replaced by Congressman Glen Allen Walken of Missouri.[13]


  • Hohner wasn't named until after his retirement in 7A WF 83429. The statement that places him as an Illinois representative may be a reference to the real-life Speaker at the time Dennis Hastert, himself an Illinois congressman. Although Hohner was never seen, he was heard once, in H.Con - 172. The joke on Hohner's multiple marriages is perhaps a nod to real-life Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was married twice.

Notes and references

  1. "I have abiding respect for the Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader. They are men of fundamental decency and public servants of purpose." from 100,000 Airplanes
  2. "Technically, the Speaker of the House invites the President to deliver the State of the Union." "We haven't been invited yet?" from He Shall, from Time to Time...
  3. "former Presidents, the Speaker, Minority Leader. They all said that statehood is in the long-term interest of Puerto Rico and that, as it stands, 3.8 million American citizens have been relegated to second-class status." from Galileo
  4. "Speaker, House Majority, House Minority, Senate Majority, Senate Minority, Whip, Whip, Deputy, Deputy." from The Leadership Breakfast
  5. "I only wish the Speaker were here tonight, but he's held up in negotiations on the Hill. He's demanding his latest pre-nup include a line-item veto." from 17 People
  6. "The governors of Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and Utah, along with the Senate Majority Leader and Speaker of the House, are calling me a fringe environmentalist, 'cause I'm listening to the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture, along with the U.S. Forest Service, the Chief Ranger, and the Parks Superintendent." from Ways and Means
  7. "Mr. President, I have House Resolution 10, the Death Tax Elimination Act. It bears the signatures of both the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, and is presented to you by the Congress of the United States for your signature or veto." from On the Day Before
  8. "Speaker's calling a vote?" "Yeah." from On the Day Before
  9. "It's 'cause Lincoln's from Illinois! And... so is the Speaker." from War Crimes
  10. "How do you think the Speaker's gonna feel about this?" from Bartlet for America
  11. "Yeah. No. A little bit. Mostly, I've been talking with Babish and some of the deputies. The Chairman, Trent, the Speaker, the Minority Leader." from H.Con - 172
  12. "You're not ever worried about the window breaking?" "During moments of peak frustration. When the Speaker of the House threatens to repeal the 16th Amendment. A couple of Yankee games..." from Inauguration: Over There (Part II)
  13. "A six term Congressman from Liberty, Missouri, who ascended to the Speaker's office with the retirement of Speaker Jim Hohner." from 7A WF 83429

Speaker of the House of Representatives
January 3, 1997 - January 3, 2003
Glen Allen Walken

Enlow (D) | Montgomery (D)
Green (R) | Hohner (R)
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