The House in Session

"The House in Session (According to the Minority Point of View)"

By Clifford Berryman, for the Washington Evening Star, April 16, 1908

U.S. Senate Collection, Center for Legislative Archives, National Archives and Records Administration

Early in the 20th century, the Speaker of the House was one of the most powerful positions in the U.S. Government. This power was derived from three sources: the power to recognize members on the floor, the power to make all committee assignments and designate chairmen, and the power to decide which bills would come onto the floor for decision and the conditions for these deliberations. In this editorial cartoon, the power of the Speaker is illustrated during the reign of "Czar" Cannon.