Congressman Latta serves as speaker pro temporeWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
District 5 Congressman Bob Latta served as speaker pro tempore of the House of Representatives on Feb. 28.
“It’s a completely different perspective handling the House and making sure things got done,” Latta said.
The House has very specific rules and procedures the chairman is in charge of, he said. The chairman designates the Pledge of Allegiance, the prayer and monitors one minute speeches as well as reads the suspension calendar and oversees debates.
While serving as chairman, the Republican was struck by the history of the position and the House.
“There’s a historical perspective with all the different speakers that have been up there, as well as all the individuals who have spoken from that spot,” Latta said. “Franklin Roosevelt, after Pearl Harbor, spoke in front of the speaker’s chair when Congress came together for a joint session. I also thought about when Winston Churchill addressed the Congress.”
It isn’t unusual for the Speaker of the House to not serve as chairman and often there are several different speaker pro tempore, Latta said. Latta said he volunteered to be chairman of the house when needed and Speaker of the House John Boehner contacted him and asked him to serve.
“It was an honor having a fellow Ohioan preside over the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Boehner, who is the representative for Ohio’s 8th District.
Boehner said the event was also a historic moment for the Latta family and the 5th District.
Although Latta’s father Delbert “Del” Latta served in the house for 30 years, he only briefly served as speaker pro tempore when Democrats mistook him to be in their party, Latta said. Del Latta served for only a few minutes before the mistake was corrected, Latta said.
Latta’s first time as chairman was an unusually calm day for the House, he said. While serving as chairman, Latta oversaw the discussion and vote on different judiciary committee bills, he said. The House passed three bills that day with few “nays.”
Latta will have the opportunity to serve as speaker pro tempore again if his committee schedule allows and he is needed.