United States House of Representatives

The United States House of Representatives, often referred to as the House of Representatives, the U.S. House, or simply the House, is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, with the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they comprise the national bicameral legislature of the United States.

United States House of Representatives
117th United States Congress
Seal of the House
Flag of the United States House of Representatives
Type
Type
Term limits
None
History
New session started
January 3, 2021 (2021-01-03)
Leadership
Steny Hoyer (D)
since January 3, 2019
Kevin McCarthy (R)
since January 3, 2019
Jim Clyburn (D)
since January 3, 2019
Steve Scalise (R)
since January 3, 2019
Structure
Seats435 voting members
6 non-voting members
218 for a majority
Political groups
Majority (221)
  •   Democratic (221)

Minority (212)

Vacant (2)

Length of term
2 years
Elections
Plurality voting in 46 states[lower-alpha 1]
Last election
November 3, 2020
Next election
November 8, 2022
RedistrictingState legislatures or redistricting commissions, varies by state
Meeting place
House of Representatives Chamber
United States Capitol
Washington, D.C.
United States of America
Website
www.house.gov
Rules
Rules of the House of Representatives

The House's composition was established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The House is composed of representatives who, pursuant to the Uniform Congressional District Act, sit in single member congressional districts allocated to each state on a basis of population as measured by the United States Census, with each district having one representative, provided that each state is entitled to at least one. Since its inception in 1789, all representatives have been directly elected, although universal suffrage didn't come to effect until after the passage of the 19th Amendment and the Civil Rights Movement. Since 1913, the number of voting representatives has been at 435 pursuant to the Apportionment Act of 1911.[1] The Reapportionment Act of 1929 capped the size of the House at 435. However, the number was temporarily increased to 437 when Hawaii and Alaska were admitted to the Union.[2]

If enacted, the DC Admission Act would permanently increase the number of representatives to 436.[3] In addition, there are currently six non-voting members, bringing the total membership of the House of Representatives to 441[4] or fewer with vacancies. As of the 2010 Census, the largest delegation was California, with 53 representatives. Seven states have only one representative: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.[5]

The House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills; those of which that are also passed by the Senate are sent to the president for consideration. The House also has exclusive powers: it initiates all revenue bills, impeaches federal officers, and elects the president if no candidate receives a majority of votes in the Electoral College.[6][7]

The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol. The presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, who is 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.


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