House Speaker standoff impacting DC residents

The drama playing out in the race for Speaker of the House has a real impact on D.C. residents.

It all comes back to D.C. Council’s Home Rule Charter and how Congress gets a say in D.C. government.

Every day there is no House speaker is another day a piece of legislation passed in D.C. won’t go into law.

According to a Council spokesperson, once D.C. Council passes something it then gets sent to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House.

It must then sit for 30 legislative days in Congress before it can become law in D.C.

If there’s no action against a law in either chamber, it can then become law after those 30 legislative days — which is what happens nearly 100% of the time.

This legislative practice is routine, but the impact is being felt currently because every day there is no Speaker of the House to receive a D.C. bill is another day lost for D.C. Council. 

How the House of Representatives elects a speaker

FOX 5 spoke to Mayor Muriel Bowser Thursday about the issue. She said this is yet another example of why D.C. should have autonomy in its government as opposed to having to wait for Congress. 

"All successive votes that we’re seeing in the House, we don’t have a single one," Bowser said. "And so that’s just a reminder that while the Congress is in D.C., we’re not represented in the Congress."

The last time there was a Speaker fight like this was 100 years ago. D.C. Council was only created in the 1970s, so this time around things are significantly different.