On Thursday, sophomore U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., wielded the gavel in the U.S. House, becoming the first Vietnamese-American to lead the chamber as she served as speaker pro tempore.
“The Speaker Pro Tempore, meaning ‘temporary speaker,’ is a legislative office of the House of Representatives and is selected, per tradition, by the Speaker of the House. The duties of this office are primarily to fill the role of presiding officer of the House in the absence of the Speaker,” Murphy’s office noted.
This marked the first time Murphy served in that role and she was honored to do so.
“I am honored to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore and preside over the legislative business of the House of Representatives. I know this historic tradition carries a lot of responsibility, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity. I welcome the inclusivity of this new Congress, which allowed me to serve in this role in the first place,” said Murphy on Thursday.
After working in business and at the Pentagon under President George W. Bush, Murphy burst on the Florida political scene in 2016 when she upset longtime U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. While she was a top Republican target last year, Murphy easily dispatched state Rep. Mike Miller to win a second term. Since then, Murphy has scored some plum assignments including being named to the powerful U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.
She now cochairs the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of moderate Democrats who stress fiscal responsibility and a strong defense, and chairs the Future Forum, a group of younger House Democrats.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.