The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (or Speaker of the House) is the presiding officer of the chamber.
The Speaker represents many constituencies, including but not limited to: the Congressional district that elected the Speaker as their representative, the majority party Representatives who elected the Speaker to the office, the majority party, the House committees upon which the Speaker serves, and the United States House of Representatives. How a specific Speaker balances these constituencies is individual and often transient.
The modern position is one of political importance within the two-party system of American politics. The current duties of the Speaker that are political are setting the legislative agenda and the appointment process for the chairpersons of House committees, subcommittees, and conference committees. The Speaker is second in the Presidential line of succession, which is why, when there is no Vice President, Bartlet hands over to Glen Allen Walken when he feels unable, in the wake of Zoey's kidnapping, to fulfil his responsibilities.
There are occasional mentions of real-life Speakers in the show, including Sam Rayburn.
List of Speakers of the United States House of Representatives
|Speaker||Party||Time in Office||Episodes|
|Jim Hohner (IL)||Republican||3 January 1997 - 3 January 2003||
but never appeared
|Glen Allen Walken (MO)||Republican||3 January 2003 - 8 May 2003|
|Jeff Haffley (WA)||Republican||10 May 2003 - 3 January 2007||
|Mark B. Sellner (MA)||Democrat||3 January 2007-||Tomorrow|