Congress by the Numbers – 2012

FAQs

112th Congress, 2nd Session (2012)

CongressByTheNumbers.com

This web page is available as a PDFPDF and is online at CongressNumbers.com

Also see

 

112th Congress Freshmen Class

112th Congress Freshmen Class

 


Current Party Numbers: 112th Congress, 2nd Session

House Senate
Democrats 191 51
Independents 0 2
Republicans 241 47
Vacancies 3 0

 

Sources: Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives and Wikipedia.

See also

For a table showing party control of the 80th through the 112th Congresses, see the Congressional Deskbook, § 5.51.

But wait! There’s more!

 

Congress by the Numbers
2012

PDF
112-2
2011

PDF

112-1
2010

PDF

111-2
2009

PDF

111-1
2008

PDF

110-2
2007

PDF

110-1
2006

PDF
109-2
2005

PDF
109-1
2004

PDF
108-2
2003

PDF
108-1
2002

PDF
107-2

Days in Session
Senate 153 170 158 191 184 190 138 159 133 167 149
House 152 175 127 159 118 164 101 140 110 133 123

Time in Session
(hours, rounded)
Senate 930 1102 1075 1421 989 1376 1028 1222 1032 1454 1043
House 725 993 879 1247 890 1478 850 1067 879 1015 772
Average Length Daily Session (hours) Senate 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.4 5.4 7.2 7.4 7.7 7.8 8.7 7
House 4.8 5.7 6.9 7.8 7.5 9.0 8.4 7.6 8.0 7.6 6.3

Bills/Resolutions Introduced
Senate 2014 2447 1506 3380 1590 3033 2302 2616 1318 2398 1558
House 3381 4468 3098 5691 3225 6194 2451 5703 2338 4616 2711
TOTAL 5395 6903 4604 9071 4815 9227 4753 8321 3656 7014 4269

Public Laws Enacted
Number 148 90 258 125 278 138 248 169 300 198 241
% of total
Introduced
2.76 1.30 5.6 1.38 5.8 1.5 5.2 2.03 8.21 2.82 5.65

Recorded Votes
Senate 251 235 299 397 215 442 279 366 216 459 253
House 1 658 949 660 987 688 1186 541 671 544 677 484
TOTAL 909 1184 959 1384 903 1628 820 1037 760 1136 739

Vetoes
0 0 1 0 4 5 1 0 0 0 0
Overridden 0 3 1 0

Source: Resumes of Congressional Activity
1 Includes quorum calls
2 Includes pocket vetoes
3 Does not include line-item vetoes

See also

  • On legislative volume,” by Matt Glassman, October 12, 2011. Chart “that plots the number of public laws passed by October 1 of the first session of Congress vs. the number of laws passed during the remaining 15 months of the Congress. It plots the past 19 Congresses (93rd-111th) and a predicted value for the 112th (labeled in purple).”
  • 20-Year Comparison of Senate Legislative Activity – from the Senate (1-page PDFPDF)

A summary of the Resumes of Congressional Activity from 1995 – 2004 appeared in Appendix 8 of the Congressional Deskbook 2005-2007, and is available here as an Excel spreadsheet.


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

 

House and Joint Committee Ratios
112th Congress, 1st Session

Committee Republicans Democrats
Agriculture
26 20
Appropriations
29 21
Armed Services 35 27
Budget 22 16
Education and Workforce
23 17
Energy and Commerce
31 23
Ethics
5 5
Financial Services
34 27
Foreign Affairs 26 20
Homeland Security 19 14
House Administration 6 3
Intelligence, Permanent Select 12 8
Judiciary 23 16
Natural Resources
27 21
Oversight & Government Reform 23 17
Rules 9 4
Science, Space and Technology 23 17
Small Business 15 11
Transportation and Infrastructure 33 26
Veterans’ Affairs 15 11
Ways and Means 22 15

Joint Committee Ratios

Joint Committee House Senate
Republicans Democrats Democrats Republicans
Economic 6 4 6 4
Library
2 3 2
Printing 2 3 2
Taxation 2 3 2

Senate Committee Ratios
112th Congress, 1st Session

Committee Democrats Republicans
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry 11 10
Appropriations
16 14
Armed Services
14 12
Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
12 10
Budget
12 11
Commerce, Science, and Transportation 13 12
Energy and Natural Resources
12 10
Environment and Public Works
10 8
Finance 13 11
Foreign Relations
10 9
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions 12 10
Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs 9 8
Judiciary
10 8
Rules and Administration 10 8
Small Business and Entrepreneurship 10 9
Veterans Affairs 8 7
Indian Affairs
8 6
Select Ethics
3 3
Select Intelligence 8 7
Special Aging 11 10

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