U.S. House of Representatives, The Office of the Historian
The Great Seal of the United States of America
Office of the Historian
U.S. House of Representatives
B-56 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-226-5525
Facsimile: 202-226-2931
Email: historian@mail.house.gov
The Historian's Response

The Speaker of the House of Representatives does not have to be a member of the House. Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution states, “The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers…”  No qualifications are given in the Constitution.  Thus, it is left to the House itself to decide whether the Speaker is a House member or not.  Other House officers, for example the Clerk and the Chief Administrative Officer, are not Members of Congress.  That being said, however, all Speakers of the House thus far in American history have been elected Members of Congress.