United States House of Representatives

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Seal of the United States House of Representatives.

House of Representatives redirects here, for the Australian equivalent see Australian House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives, often referred to as just "The House," is the lower chamber of Congress in which representatives of each state in the union gather. There are 435 voting members of the House, and each serves two year terms. Representatives can be re-elected an unlimited number of times, and indeed, most incumbents who seek re-election are continually successful. [1] Every state has at least one Representative, and are allocated more based on population. For example, California has 53 Representatives. The House of Representatives meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The House's presiding officer is a Representative from the party with the most members currently in the House, and is known as the Speaker of the House. The current Speaker of the House is Republican John Boehner, who is from Ohio. The majority leader is Eric Cantor and the minority leader is Nancy Pelosi.


Powers of the House

The Primary role of the House of Representatives is to originate legislation dealing with revenue and the budget, and to draft proposals for new laws to be reviewed by the Senate and the President.

Current Composition

  • Republican Party (Majority): 242 (+0)
  • Democratic Party (Minority): 193 (+6)

Numbers in brackets are non-voting members from US territories such as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

See also

Chamber of the United States House of Representatives.


  • Congressional Quarterly. Guide to Congress, 6th edition (2007) 1441 pages. CQ is a trustworthy source, achieving a nonpartisan, nonidological factual position
    • CQ, Student's Guide to the U.S. Congress (2008)
  • Congressional Quarterly. Politics in America: 2008 (2007); ISBN: 0-87289-547-5 1224pp, covers every member of Congress; details and samples
  • Baker, Ross K. House and Senate, 3rd ed. New York: W. W. Norton. (2000).
  • Barone, Michael, and Richard E. Cohen. The Almanac of American Politics, 2010 (2009), elaborate detail on every district and member; 1920 pages; new edition every 2 years since 1976
  • Davidson, Roger H., and Walter J. Oleszek. (1998). Congress and Its Members, 6th ed. from CQ
  • Silverberg, David. Congress for Dummies (2002) excerpt and text search
  • Lee, Frances and Bruce Oppenheimer. Sizing Up the Senate: The Unequal Consequences of Equal Representation. University of Chicago Press. (1999).
  • Tarr, David R., and Ann O'Connor. Congress A to Z (CQ Congressional Quarterly) (4th ed 2003) 605pp


  • American National Biography (1999), contains biographies of all politicians no longer alive; online edition at academic libraries
  • Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-2005. 2005. biographical entries for every person who ever served; Biographical Directory online.
  • Carroll, Holbert N. The House of Representatives and Foreign Affairs 1958 online edition
  • Davidson, Roger H., Susan Webb Hammond, Raymond W. Smock, eds; Masters of the House: Congressional Leadership over Two Centuries Westview Press, 1998 online edition
  • Galloway, George B. History of the House of Representatives 1962 online edition
  • MacNeil, Neil. Forge of Democracy: The House of Representatives (1963) popular history by a well-informed journalist online edition
  • Remini, Robert V. The House: The History of the House of Representatives (2006) the standard scholarly history excerpt and text search
  • Strahan, Randall. Leading Representatives: The Agency of Leaders in the Politics of the U.S. House (2007) focus on Henry Clay, Thomas Reed, and Newt Gingrich
  • Zelizer, Julian E. On Capitol Hill: The Struggle to Reform Congress and its Consequences, 1948-2000 (2004)
  • Zelizer, Julian E. ed. The American Congress: The Building of Democracy (2004), essays by leading scholars excerpt and text search


  1. http://www.thirty-thousand.org/pages/QHA-08.htm
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