"The minority leader of the modern House is the head of the 'loyal opposition.' As the minority party's nominee for Speaker at the start of a new Congress, the minority leader traditionally hands the gavel to the Speaker-elect, who is usually elected on a straight party-line vote. The speakership election illustrates the main problem that confronts the minority leader: the subordinate status of the minority party in an institution noted for majority rule. As David Bonior, D-MI [Democrat-Michigan], explained: 'This body, unlike the other, operates under the principle that a determined majority should be allowed to work its will while protecting the rights of the minority to be heard.' Minority party lawmakers are certain to be heard, but whether they will be heeded is sometimes another matter. Thus, the uppermost goal of any minority leader is to recapture majority control of the House."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30666
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/