Speaker of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico

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Speaker of the
House of Representatives of Puerto Rico
Seal of the President of Puerto Rico House of Representatives.svg
Incumbent
Jaime Perelló

since January 2, 2013
Style The Honorable
diplomatic
Mister Speaker
when presiding over the House
Nominator nominated internally by the House
Appointer elected internally by the House
Term length 4 years
Inaugural holder Manuel F. Rossy
Formation Foraker Act
Jones–Shafroth Act
Article III of the Constitution of Puerto Rico
Deputy Speaker pro tempore

The President of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico —commonly called the Speaker of the House (Spanish: Presidente de la Cámara de Representantes)— is the highest-ranking officer and the presiding officer of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico. The Speaker has voting powers as it is elected amongst the own members of the House as established by Article III of the Constitution of Puerto Rico. The Constitution, however, does not establish its functions and since the House is the only body authorized by the Constitution to regulate its own internal affairs, the functions of the Speaker vary from session to session—save being called "Speaker" as the Constitution establishes.[1] The Speaker is typically elected during the House inaugural session.[2]

When absent, the Speaker is substituted by the Speaker pro tempore.[2] Its counterpart in the Senate is the President of the Senate.

The current Speaker is Jaime Perelló, representative at-large from the Popular Democratic Party.

Background[edit]

The Speaker traces its history back to more than 114 years ago when the Foraker Act formally established the post on April 12, 1900. Several laws eventually superseded said act, and the post was eventually established by the Constitution of Puerto Rico, specifically Article III, which establishes that, "[...]the House of Representatives [shall elect] a Speaker from among [its] members." The Constitution, however, does not establish what a "Speaker" is nor what its function should be.[1] Internal rules adopted by the House through a simple resolution establish its definition, functions, responsibilities, and legal scope.[2]

Functions[edit]

Typically the Speaker is responsible for the observance and compliance of the House internal rules. He also typically:[2]

  • presides all joint commissions,
  • resolves and decides all parliamentary situations and rules of order brought in sessions,
  • names all permanent and special commissions of the House, as well as being a member ex officio of each one,
  • signs all bills, joint resolutions, concurrent resolutions, reorganization plans, and simple resolutions approved by the House and the Legislative Assembly,
  • convenes special sessions of the House,
  • maintains order and decorum in the House, a responsibility typically delegated to the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House,
  • must vote in all matters presented in the House (can not abstain),
  • represents the House in all forums,
  • is responsible for all administrative matters of the House, a responsibility typically delegated to the Secretary of the House,
  • prepares an annual and monthly report detailing all work done by the House,
  • appoints an internal auditor for the House,
  • prepares the budget of the House,
  • prepares a registry of all lobbyists that must be freely available to the public,
  • is responsible of providing free access to the public to all works generated by the House, and
  • offers training and continuing education opportunities to House members, advisors, and employees.

Speakers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Article III, Section 9, Constitution of Puerto Rico (July 25, 1952). Retrieved on August 9, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d R. de la C. 126 del 2013, "Reglamento de la Cámara de Representantes del Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico" (in Spanish) House of Representatives of Puerto Rico (January 15, 2013). Retrieved on August 9, 2013.