Dean of the United States House of Representatives
The Dean of the United States House of Representatives is the longest continuously serving member of the House. The current Dean is Don Young, a Republican Party representative from Alaska who has served since 1973, is the first Republican Dean in more than eighty years, as well as the first from Alaska; the Dean is a symbolic post whose only customary duty is to swear in a Speaker of the House after he or she is elected. The Dean comes forward on the House Floor to administer the oath to the Speaker-elect, before the new Speaker administers the oath to the other members. While the Dean does swear in newly elected Speakers, he or she does not preside over the election of a Speaker, as do the Father of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom and the Dean of the Canadian House of Commons; because of other privileges associated with seniority, the Dean is allotted some of the most desirable office space, is either chair or ranking minority member of an influential committee. It is unclear when the position first achieved concrete recognition, though the seniority system and increasing lengths of service emerged in the early 20th century.
As late as 1924, Frederick H. Gillett was Dean, Speaker, before becoming a Senator. Modern Deans move into their positions so late in their careers that a move to the Senate is unlikely; when Ed Markey broke Gillett's record for time in the House before moving to the Senate in 2013 he was still decades junior to the sitting Dean. The Deanship can change hands unexpectedly. In the 1952 election, Adolph J. Sabath became the first Representative elected to a 24th term, breaking the record of 23 terms first set by former Speaker Joseph Gurney Cannon, whose service had been discontinuous, whereas Sabath's was not. North Carolina's Robert L. Doughton had not contested that election as he was retiring at the age of 89 years and two months, a House age record broken in 1998 by Sidney R. Yates, again by Ralph Hall in 2012. Claude Pepper, who died early in his final term in 1989, held the record for oldest winner of a House election until Hall broke it in 2012. However, Sabath died before the new term began and Doughton was Dean for the old term's final months before Speaker Sam Rayburn became Dean in the new Congress.
In 1994, Texas Democrat Jack Brooks was defeated by Steve Stockman in the year he was expected to succeed Jamie Whitten as Dean. Years as Dean are followed by name, party and start of service in Congress. All the members of the First Congress had equal seniority, but Muhlenberg, as the Speaker, was the first member to be sworn in. Muhlenberg and Thatcher were among the 13 members who attended the initial meeting of the House on March 4, 1789. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries some state delegations to the House were not elected until after the term had begun. To avoid confusion, this fact is ignored in the list below. Oldest living United States president List of the oldest living members of the United States House of Representatives President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate Dean of the United States Senate List of longest-living United States Senators Earliest serving United States Senator List of oldest living United States governors List of members of the United States Congress by longevity of service House.gov page "Deans/Fathers of the House"
116th United States Congress
The 116th United States Congress is the current meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. It convened in Washington, D. C. on January 3, 2019 and will end on January 3, 2021, during the third and fourth years of Donald Trump's presidency. Senators elected to regular terms in 2014 are finishing their terms in this Congress and House seats were apportioned based on the 2010 Census. In the November 2018 midterm elections, the Democratic Party won a new majority in the House, while the Republican Party increased its majority in the Senate; this is the first split Congress since the 113th, the first Republican Senate/Democrat House split since the 99th. This Congress is considered to be the most diverse elected, the youngest in the past three cycles. December 22, 2018 – January 25, 2019: 2018–19 United States federal government shutdown January 3, 2019: Nancy Pelosi elected Speaker of the House, becoming the first former speaker to return to the post since Sam Rayburn in 1955.
February 5, 2019: 2019 State of the Union Address, after being delayed from January 29, 2019, due to the partial government shutdown. February 15, 2019: President Trump declared a National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States. February 27, 2019: Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, accusing Trump of several financial fraud crimes. March 24, 2019: Special Counsel investigation: Summary letter of special counsel Robert Mueller's report issued to congress by attorney general William Barr. February 15, 2019: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019, Pub. L. 116–6, H. J. 31 March 12, 2019: John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation and Recreation Act, Pub. L. 116–9, S. 47 For the People Act of 2019, H. R. 1 Equality Act, H. R. 5 Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal, H. Res. 109 SAFE Banking Act of 2019, H. R. 1595 Taxpayer First Act of 2019, H. R. 1957 March 15, 2019: A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of a national emergency declaration at the southern border.
Resignations and new members are discussed in the "Changes in membership" section, below. President: Mike Pence President pro tempore: Chuck Grassley President pro tempore emeritus: Patrick Leahy Majority Leader: Mitch McConnell Majority Whip: John Thune Conference Chair: John Barrasso Conference Vice Chair: Joni Ernst Policy Committee Chair: Roy Blunt Campaign Committee Chair: Todd Young Steering Committee Chair: Mike Lee Chief Deputy Whip: Mike Crapo Deputy Whips: Roy Blunt, Shelley Moore Capito, John Cornyn, Cory Gardner, James Lankford, Martha McSally, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, Tim Scott, Thom Tillis, Todd Young Minority Leader/Caucus Chair: Chuck Schumer Minority Whip: Dick Durbin Assistant Leader: Patty Murray Policy Committee Chair: Debbie Stabenow Caucus Vice Chairs: Mark Warner, Elizabeth Warren Steering Committee Chair: Amy Klobuchar Outreach Chair: Bernie Sanders Policy Committee Vice Chair: Joe Manchin Caucus Secretary: Tammy Baldwin Campaign Committee Chair: Catherine Cortez Masto Chief Deputy Whip: Cory Booker, Jeff Merkley, Brian Schatz Speaker: Nancy Pelosi Majority Leader: Steny Hoyer Majority Whip: Jim Clyburn Assistant Leader: Ben Ray Luján Caucus Chair: Hakeem Jeffries Caucus Vice Chair: Katherine Clark Campaign Committee Chair: Cheri Bustos Policy and Communications Committee Chair: David Cicilline Policy and Communications Committee Co-Chairs: Matt Cartwright, Debbie Dingell, Ted Lieu Steering and Policy Committee Co-Chairs: Rosa DeLauro, Barbara Lee, Eric Swalwell Assistant to the Majority Whip: Cedric Richmond Senior Chief Deputy Whips: John Lewis, Jan Schakowsky Chief Deputy Whips: Pete Aguilar, G. K. Butterfield, Henry Cuellar, Dan Kildee, Sheila Jackson Lee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Terri Sewell, Peter Welch Minority Leader: Kevin McCarthy Minority Whip: Steve Scalise Conference Chair: Liz Cheney Conference Vice Chair: Mark Walker Conference Secretary: Jason Smith Policy Committee Chair: Gary Palmer Campaign Committee Chair: Tom Emmer Chief Deputy Whip: Drew Ferguson Most members of this Congress are Christian, with half being Protestant and 30.5% being Catholic.
Jewish membership is the highest percentage in American history. Other religions represented include Buddhism and Hinduism. One senator says that she is religiously unaffiliated, while the number of members refusing to specify their religious affiliation increased; the Senate includes 25 women, the most female senators to date. In six states — California, Nevada, Arizona and New Hampshire — both senators are women. 13 states are represented by one male and one female senator, while 31 states are represented by two male senators. There are 91 non-Hispanic white, four Hispanic, three Black, three Asian, one multiracial senators, while two identify as LGBTQ+. There are 102 women in the largest number in history. There are 313 non-Hispanic whites, 56 black, 44 Hispanic, 15 Asian, 4 Native American. Eight identify as LGBTQ+. Two Democrats — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Donna Shalala — are the youngest and oldest freshman women in history. Freshmen women Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are the first two female Muslims and freshmen Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland are the first two female Native American members.
The numbers refer to their Senate classes. All class 1 seats were contested in the November 2018 elections. In this Congress, class 1 means their term commenced in the current Congress, requiring re-election in 2024.
Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico
The Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico is a non-voting member of the United States House of Representatives elected by the voters of Puerto Rico every four years, the only member of the House of Representatives who serves a four-year term. Commissioners function in every respect as a member of Congress, including sponsoring legislation and serving on congressional committees, where they can vote on legislation, except that they are denied a vote on the final disposition of legislation on the House floor, they receive a salary of $174,000 per year. The current commissioner is Jenniffer González-Colón of the New Progressive Party, the first woman to hold the post, she is affiliated with the Republican Party at the national level. Other U. S. territories have a similar representative position called a delegate. List of United States congressional districts Resident Commissioners from the Philippines
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest officer in the executive branch of the U. S. federal government, after the President of the United States, ranks first in the presidential line of succession. The Vice President is an officer in the legislative branch, as President of the Senate. In this capacity, the Vice President presides over Senate deliberations, but may not vote except to cast a tie-breaking vote; the Vice President presides over joint sessions of Congress. The Vice President is indirectly elected together with the President to a four-year term of office by the people of the United States through the Electoral College. Section 2 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment, ratified in 1967, created a mechanism for intra-term vice presidential succession, establishing that vice presidential vacancies will be filled by the president and confirmed by both houses of Congress. Whenever a vice president had succeeded to the presidency or had died or resigned from office, the vice presidency remained vacant until the next presidential and vice presidential terms began.
The Vice President is a statutory member of the National Security Council, the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. The Office of the Vice President organises the vice president's official functions; the role of the vice presidency has changed since the office was created during the 1787 constitutional Convention. Over the past 100 years, the vice presidency has evolved into a position of domestic and foreign policy political power, is now seen as an integral part of a president's administration; as the Vice President's role within the executive branch has expanded, his role within the legislative branch has contracted. The Constitution does not expressly assign the vice presidency to any one branch, causing a dispute among scholars about which branch of government the office belongs to: 1) the executive branch; the modern view of the vice president as an officer of the executive branch is due in large part to the assignment of executive authority to the vice president by either the president or Congress.
Mike Pence of Indiana is the current Vice President of the United States. He assumed office on January 20, 2017. No mention of an office of vice president was made at the 1787 Constitutional Convention until near the end, when an 11-member committee on "Leftover Business" proposed a method of electing the chief executive. Delegates had considered the selection of the Senate's presiding officer, deciding that, "The Senate shall choose its own President," and had agreed that this official would be designated the executive's immediate successor, they had considered the mode of election of the executive but had not reached consensus. This all changed on September 4, when the committee recommended that the nation's chief executive be elected by an Electoral College, with each state having a number of presidential electors equal to the sum of that state's allocation of representatives and senators; the proposed presidential election process called for each state to choose members of the electoral college, who would use their discretion to select the candidates they individually viewed as best qualified.
Recognizing that loyalty to one's individual state outweighed loyalty to the new federation, the Constitution's framers assumed that individual electors would be inclined to choose a candidate from their own state over one from another. So they created the office of vice president and required that electors vote for two candidates, requiring that at least one of their votes must be for a candidate from outside the elector's state, believing that this second vote could be cast for a candidate of national character. Additionally, to guard against the possibility that some electors might strategically throw away their second vote in order to bolster their favorite son's chance of winning, it was specified that the first runner-up presidential candidate would become vice president. Creating this new office imposed a political cost on strategically discarded electoral votes, incentivizing electors to make their choices for president without resort to electoral gamesmanship and to cast their second ballot accordingly.
The resultant method of electing the president and vice president, spelled out in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3, allocated to each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of its Senate and House of Representatives membership. Each elector was allowed to vote for two people for president, but could not differentiate between their first and second choice for the presidency; the person receiving the greatest number of votes would be president, while the individual who received the next largest number of votes became vice president. If there were a tie for first or for second place, or if no one won a majority of votes, the president and vice president would be selected by means of contingent elections protocols stated in the clause; the emergence of political parties and nationally coordinated election campaigns during the 1790s soon frustrated this original plan. In the election of 1796, Federalist John Adams won the presidency, but his bitter rival, Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson came second and became vice president.
Thus, the president and vice president were from opposing parties.
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States; the composition of the House is established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The House is composed of Representatives who sit in congressional districts that are allocated to each of the 50 states on a basis of population as measured by the U. S. Census, with each district entitled to one representative. Since its inception in 1789, all Representatives have been directly elected; the total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. As of the 2010 Census, the largest delegation is that of California, with fifty-three representatives. Seven states have only one representative: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming; the House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the President for consideration.
In addition to this basic power, the House has certain exclusive powers, among them the power to initiate all bills related to revenue. The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol; the presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, elected by the members thereof. The Speaker and other floor leaders are chosen by the Democratic Caucus or the Republican Conference, depending on whichever party has more voting members. Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress of the Confederation was a unicameral body in which each state was represented, in which each state had a veto over most action. After eight years of a more limited confederal government under the Articles, numerous political leaders such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton initiated the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which received the Confederation Congress's sanction to "amend the Articles of Confederation". All states except Rhode Island agreed to send delegates; the issue of how to structure Congress was one of the most divisive among the founders during the Convention.
Edmund Randolph's Virginia Plan called for a bicameral Congress: the lower house would be "of the people", elected directly by the people of the United States and representing public opinion, a more deliberative upper house, elected by the lower house, that would represent the individual states, would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment. The House is referred to as the lower house, with the Senate being the upper house, although the United States Constitution does not use that terminology. Both houses' approval is necessary for the passage of legislation; the Virginia Plan drew the support of delegates from large states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania, as it called for representation based on population. The smaller states, favored the New Jersey Plan, which called for a unicameral Congress with equal representation for the states; the Convention reached the Connecticut Compromise or Great Compromise, under which one house of Congress would provide representation proportional to each state's population, whereas the other would provide equal representation amongst the states.
The Constitution was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1788, but its implementation was set for March 4, 1789. The House began work on April 1789, when it achieved a quorum for the first time. During the first half of the 19th century, the House was in conflict with the Senate over regionally divisive issues, including slavery; the North was much more populous than the South, therefore dominated the House of Representatives. However, the North held no such advantage in the Senate, where the equal representation of states prevailed. Regional conflict was most pronounced over the issue of slavery. One example of a provision supported by the House but blocked by the Senate was the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in the land gained during the Mexican–American War. Conflict over slavery and other issues persisted until the Civil War, which began soon after several southern states attempted to secede from the Union; the war culminated in the abolition of slavery. All southern senators except Andrew Johnson resigned their seats at the beginning of the war, therefore the Senate did not hold the balance of power between North and South during the war.
The years of Reconstruction that followed witnessed large majorities for the Republican Party, which many Americans associated with the Union's victory in the Civil War and the ending of slavery. The Reconstruction period ended in about 1877; the Democratic Party and Republican Party each held majorities in the House at various times. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a dramatic increase in the power of the Speaker of the House; the rise of the Speaker's influence began in the 1890s, during the tenure of Republican Thomas Brackett Reed. "Czar Reed", as he was nicknamed, attempted to put into effect his view that "The best system is to have one party govern and the other party watch." The leadership structure of the House developed during the same period, with the positions of Majority Leader and Minority Leader being created in 1899. While the Minority Leader
Act of Congress
An Act of Congress is a statute enacted by the United States Congress. It can either be a Public Law, relating to the general public, or a Private Law, relating to specific institutions or individuals; the term can be used in other countries with a legislature named "Congress", such as the Congress of the Philippines. In the United States, Acts of Congress are designated as either public laws, relating to the general public, or private laws, relating to specific institutions or individuals. Since 1957, all Acts of Congress have been designated as "Public Law X-Y" or "Private Law X-Y", where X is the number of the Congress and Y refers to the sequential order of the bill. For example, P. L. 111-5 was the fifth enacted public law of the 111th United States Congress. Public laws are often abbreviated as Pub. L. No. X-Y; when the legislation of those two kinds is proposed, it is called public bill and private bill respectively. The word "act", as used in the term "Act of Congress", is a common, not a proper noun.
The capitalization of the word "act" is deprecated by some dictionaries and usage authorities. Some writers, in particular the U. S. Code, capitalize "Act"; this is a result of the more liberal use of capital letters in legal contexts, which has its roots in the 18th century capitalization of all nouns as is seen in the United States Constitution. "Act of Congress" is sometimes used in informal speech to indicate something for which getting permission is burdensome. For example, "It takes an Act of Congress to get a building permit in this town." An Act adopted by simple majorities in both houses of Congress is promulgated, or given the force of law, in one of the following ways: Signature by the President of the United States, Inaction by the President after ten days from reception while the Congress is in session, or Reconsideration by the Congress after a presidential veto during its session. The President promulgates Acts of Congress made by the first two methods. If an Act is made by the third method, the presiding officer of the house that last reconsidered the act promulgates it.
Under the United States Constitution, if the President does not return a bill or resolution to Congress with objections before the time limit expires the bill automatically becomes an Act. In addition, if the President rejects a bill or resolution while the Congress is in session, a two-thirds vote of both houses of the Congress is needed for reconsideration to be successful. Promulgation in the sense of publishing and proclaiming the law is accomplished by the President, or the relevant presiding officer in the case of an overridden veto, delivering the act to the Archivist of the United States. After the Archivist receives the Act, he or she provides for its publication as a slip law and in the United States Statutes at Large. Thereafter, the changes are published in the United States Code. An Act of Congress that violates the Constitution may be declared unconstitutional by the courts; the judicial declaration of an Act's unconstitutionality does not remove the law from the statute books.
However, future publications of the Act are annotated with warnings indicating that the statute is no longer valid law. Legislation List of United States federal legislation for a list of prominent acts of Congress. Procedures of the United States Congress Act of Parliament Coming into force Enactment Federal Register http://bensguide.gpo.gov/6-8/glossary.html
Party leaders of the United States Senate
The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two United States Senators and members of the party leadership of the United States Senate. These leaders serve as the chief Senate spokespeople for the political parties holding the majority and the minority in the United States Senate, manage and schedule the legislative and executive business of the Senate, they are elected to their positions in the Senate by the party caucuses: the Senate Democratic Caucus and the Senate Republican Conference. By rule, the Presiding Officer gives the Majority Leader priority in obtaining recognition to speak on the floor of the Senate; the Majority Leader customarily serves as the chief representative of their party in the Senate, sometimes in all of Congress if the House of Representatives and thus the office of Speaker of the House is controlled by the opposition party. The Assistant Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate are the second-ranking members of each party's leadership; the main function of the Majority and Minority Whips is to gather votes on major issues.
Because they are the second ranking members of the Senate, if there is no floor leader present, the whip may become acting floor leader. Before 1969, the official titles were Minority Whip; the Senate is composed of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, 2 independents, both of whom caucus with the Democrats. The current leaders are Chuck Schumer from New York; the current Assistant Leaders/Whips are Senators John Thune from South Dakota and Dick Durbin from Illinois. Democrats began the practice of electing floor leaders in 1920. John W. Kern was a Democratic Senator from Indiana. While the title was not official, he is considered to be the first Senate party leader from 1913 through 1917, while serving concurrently as Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus. In 1925 the majority Republicans adopted this language when Charles Curtis became the first Majority Leader, although his immediate predecessor Henry Cabot Lodge is considered the first Senate Majority Leader; the Constitution designates the Vice President of the United States as President of the United States Senate.
The Constitution calls for a President pro tempore to serve as the leader of the body when the President of the Senate is absent. In practice, neither the Vice President nor the President pro tempore—customarily the most senior Senator in the majority party—actually presides over the Senate on a daily basis. Since the Vice President may be of a different party than the majority and is not a member subject to discipline, the rules of procedure of the Senate give the presiding officer little power and none beyond the presiding role. For these reasons, it is the Majority Leader; this is in contrast to the House of Representatives where the elected Speaker of the House has a great deal of discretionary power and presides over votes on bills. The Democratic Party first selected a leader in 1920; the Republican Party first formally designated a leader in 1925. Party leaders of the United States House of Representatives President pro tempore of the United States Senate Vice President of the United States Party divisions of United States Congresses List of political parties in the United States Women in the United States Senate Majority and Minority Leaders and Party Whips, via Senate.gov Republican Majority Democratic Minority