Congress by the Numbers

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Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Items received at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC, photo by Carol Highsmith, Library of Congress LC-HS503- 1741Items received at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC, photo by Carol Highsmith, Library of Congress LC-HS503- 1741

Items received at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC, photo by Carol Highsmith, Library of Congress LC-HS503- 1741

House versus Committee of the Whole


House


Committee of the Whole


Established by Constitution (Article I, Section 2)

Established by House rule for consideration of a specific measure

Mace raised

Mace lowered

Speaker presides

Chair of Committee of the Whole presides (appointed by Speaker)

One-hour rule

Five-minute rule for amendments; special rule from Rules Committee dictates procedure, after adoption of rule by House

Quorum of 218

Quorum of 100

One-fifth of members (44 with minimum quorum to trigger a recorded vote

25 members to trigger a recorded vote

Motion for previous question in order

Motion for previous question not in order; motion to limit or end debate may be offered

Motion to recommit in order

Motion to recommit not in order

Motion to reconsider in order

Motion to reconsider not in order

Routine business of House in order

Routine business of House not in order

Differences between the House and the Senate At-a-Glance


House


Senate


Larger – 435 members

Smaller – 100 members

Districts based on population

Two Senators from each state

Shorter term – 2 years

Longer term – 6 years

All stand for election every 2 years

6 year terms are staggered, 1/3 stand for election every 2 years – “continuing body”

At least 25 years of age when seated

At least 30 years of age when seated

Originates revenue legislation

Executive business (Treaties by 2/3, nominations)

Four calendars (Union, House, Private, and Discharge)

Two calendars (Legislative and Executive)

Less procedural flexibility / more restraints

More procedural flexibility / fewer restraints

Rules adopted each Congress (every 2 years)

Rules continuously in effect

Stronger Leadership – power less evenly distributed

Weaker Leadership – power more evenly distributed

Role of Rules Committee and special rules to govern floor consideration

Unanimous consent and complex unanimous consent time agreements to govern floor consideration

Scheduling by Speaker and majority-party leadership, with limited consultation among members

Scheduling by majority-party leadership, with broad consultation among all members

Germaneness of amendments generally required

Germaneness of amendments rarely required

Presiding officer has considerable discretion in recognition; rulings rarely challenged

Presiding officer has little discretion in recognition; rulings frequently challenged

Debate always restricted

Debate rarely restricted

Debate-ending motions by majority vote (218 representatives)

Cloture invoked by three-fifths vote (60 senators)

Quorum calls permitted in connection with record votes

Quorum calls permitted almost any time and used for constructive delay

Narrower constituency – House District

Larger constituency – entire state

Elections generally less competitive

Elections generally more competitive

Specialists

Generalists

Less reliant on staff

More reliant on staff

Less media coverage

More media coverage

More partisan

Less partisan

Adjourns at end of day

Recesses at end of most days

Salary: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013: $174,000
2008: $169,300
2006 and 2007: $165,200 (2005: $162,100)
For more information, see Pay and Perquisites of Members of Congress

Salary: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013: $174,000
2008: $169,300
2006 and 2007: $165,200 (2005: $162,100)
For more information, see Pay and Perquisites of Members of Congress

 

 



 

 

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URL: CongressNumbers.com
CongressByTheNumbers.com
PartyNumbers.com

 

 





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