‘Queen of the Hill’? Power of the Leadership in the House of Representatives


The leadership in Congress is often studied in theory, as a powerful body but with little to back it up due to the quiet and persuasive nature of politics. However, in a rare move, the Republican leadership is trying to achieve what it wants, more defence spending, by allowing a vote on two, almost-identical budget bills but one with more spending for defence and one with less – whichever gets the most votes wins. This is the so called ‘Queen of the Hill’ move.

This is a decision taken by Boehner and the Republican leadership (remembering, of course, that the House has the upperhand in fiscal negotiations) and is a great exmaple of what the Speaker and House leadership can do if they want. Excellent fodder for any 15 marker on leadership or the differences between the two houses (this simply would not work in the Senate given the ‘unanimous consent’ required), but could also slot into a 45 mark question about how Congress works.