Only 61 people in the history of the United States have held the position. It's the second most powerful in the country and second in line to the presidency.
But after this week, not many people may want to be Speaker of the House.
John Boehner, the chain-smoking, politically moderate, congressman from southwestern Ohio who has held the job for the past three years, has seen his power to corral his Republican caucus tested.
He's just come out on the losing end of a ferocious battle with President Barack Obama to reopen the government and avert a possible default.
"We fought the good fight, we just didn't win," Boehner told a Cincinnati radio station on Wednesday.
A GOP congressman who was in a closed-door meeting late Wednesday afternoon with the caucus told CNN's Dana Bash: "Speaker Boehner said, 'Look, I don't want everybody beating each other up. I know this isn't everything we want, but we're going to live to fight another day.'"