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The presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives. The Speaker, a member of the House, is elected by a majority party caucus. In addition to being chief spokesman for the majority party, the Speaker runs the proceedings of House debate and voting, appoints committee members, refers bills to committees for research and development, and has an influential voice in all stages of a bill's consideration. One of the most visible and influential officials of the federal government, the Speaker is second in line, after the vice president, in succession to the presidency.