112th Congress (2011–2013)
- 435 Representatives
- 5 Delegates
- 1 Resident Commissioner
- 193 Democrats
- 242 Republicans
*Party division totals are based on election day results.
A divided government complicated legislative work during the 112th Congress. Unable to reach deals on a number of issues, the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic Senate passed emergency measures to prevent a government shutdown and avoid defaulting on the country’s debt. After long talks between the Speaker and the President, a “grand bargain” of tax hikes and spending cuts collapsed, leaving a Senate bill to raise the debt ceiling. A House-Senate panel tasked with reducing deficits failed to outline a plan, triggering a series of automatic spending cuts called sequestration.
Learn more about the House in Historical Highlights.
Leadership & Officers
- Speaker of the House:
- John Boehner (R–OH)
- Majority Leader:
- Eric Cantor (R–VA)
- Minority Leader:
- Nancy Pelosi (D–CA)
- Democratic Whip:
- Steny Hoyer (D–MD)
- Republican Whip:
- Kevin McCarthy (R–CA)
- Democratic Caucus Chairman:
- John Larson (D–CT)
- Republican Conference Chairman:
- Jeb Hensarling (R–TX)
- Clerk of the House:
- Karen L. Haas
- Chief Administrative Officer:
- Daniel J. Strodel
- Sergeant at Arms:
- Paul Irving
- Chaplain of the House:
- Daniel P. Coughlin – Roman Catholic 1
Patrick J. Conroy – Roman Catholic
- John V. Sullivan
Thomas J. Wickham, Jr. 2
To view complete lists of individuals who have served in these leadership and official positions since the 1st Congress, visit the People section
|Number||Date||Petition to Discharge|
|No. 0001||July 6, 2011||the Committee on Rules from the consideration of the resolution entitled (H.Res. 310), a resolution providing for the consideration of the bill (H.R. 639) to amend title VII of the Tariff Act of 1930 to clarify that countervailing duties may be imposed to address subsidies relating to a fundamentally undervalued currency of any foreign country (H.Res. 310)|
|No. 0002||July 14, 2011||the Committees on Armed Services and Transportation and Infrastructure from the consideration of the bill (H.R. 1297) entitled, a bill to appropriate such funds as may be necessary to ensure that members of the Armed Forces, including reserve components thereof, continue to receive pay and allowances for active service performed when a funding gap caused by the failure to enact interim or full-year appropriations for the Armed Forces occurs, which results in the furlough of nonemergency personnel and the curtailment of Government activities and services (H.R. 1297)|
|No. 0003||February 1, 2012||the Committees on Financial Services, Agriculture, House Administration, the Judiciary, Ethics, and Rules from the consideration of the bill (H.R. 1148) entitled, a bill to prohibit commodities and securities trading based on nonpublic information relating to Congress, to require additional reporting by Members and employees of Congress of securities transactions, and for other purposes (H.R. 1148)|
|No. 0004||July 12, 2012||the Committees on House Administration and the Judiciary from the consideration of the bill (H.R. 4010) entitled, a bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to provide for additional disclosure requirements for corporations, labor organizations, and other entities, and for other purposes (H.R. 4010)|
|No. 0005||September 13, 2012||the Committee on Rules from the consideration of the resolution (H.Res. 739) entitled, a resolution providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 6083) to provide for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through fiscal year 2017, and for other purposes (H. Res. 739)|
|No. 0006||December 4, 2012||the Committees on Ways and Means and the Budget from the consideration of the bill (H.R. 15) entitled, a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax relief to middle-class families (H.R. 15)|
The One Hundred Twelfth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, from January 3, 2011, until January 3, 2013. It convened in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2011, and ended on January 3, 2013, 17 days before the end of the presidential term to which Barack Obama was elected in 2008. Senators elected to regular terms in 2006 completed those terms in this Congress. This Congress included the last House of Representatives elected from congressional districts that were apportioned based on the 2000 census.
In the 2010 midterm elections, the Republican Party won the majority in the House of Representatives. While the Democrats kept their Senate majority, it was reduced from the previous Congress. This was the first Congress in which the House and Senate were controlled by different parties since the 107th Congress (2001–2003), and the first Congress to begin that way since the 99th Congress (1985–1987). In this Congress, the House of Representatives had the largest number of Republican members, 242, since the 80th Congress (1947–1949). It was also the first Congress since 1947 in which no member of the Kennedy family served, and it was viewed as one of the most politically polarized Congress since Reconstruction, and the least productive since the Second World War, with record low approval ratings.
Main articles: 2011 in the United States, 2012 in the United States, and 2013 in the United States
- January 6, 2011: On the second day of the 112th Congress, the House of Representatives read a modified version of the U.S. Constitution, a first.
- January 8, 2011: 2011 Tucson shooting: Representative Gabrielle Giffords and nineteen other people were shot by a gunman in Tucson, Arizona. Six of them, including a federal judge and a congressional aide, died. Votes on the House floor were suspended for one week.
- January 25, 2011: 2011 State of the Union Address
- March 19, 2011: The United States initiated Operation Odyssey Dawn as part of the international military intervention in the Libyan Civil War. The intervention continued under the auspices of NATO as Operation Unified Protector until the end of military operations in October 2011.
- May 2, 2011: Navy Seals killed al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in Operation Neptune Spear.
- April 9, 2011: A last-minute deal between both parties averts a partial shutdown of the federal government.
- August 2, 2011: The 2011 debt-ceiling crisis ends with the Budget Control Act of 2011.
- December 18, 2011: The United States completed its withdrawal of troops from Iraq, formally ending the Iraq War.
- January 24, 2012: 2012 State of the Union Address
- June 28, 2012: In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act's constitutionality but found the expansion of Medicaid unconstitutionally coercive on the states.
- November 6, 2012: 2012 general elections, including:
- December 14, 2012: The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting leaves 28 dead, and prompts debate on gun control in the United States.
- January 1, 2013: United States fiscal cliff avoided. (See American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012)
Potential government shutdown
A failure to pass a 2011 federal budget nearly led to a shutdown of non-essential government services on April 9, 2011, with the furlough of 800,000 government employees appearing imminent. President Obama met Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner in the days preceding the deadline but was unable to come to an agreement to pass a budget. A one-week budget was proposed to avoid a government shutdown and allow more time for negotiations; however, proposals from both parties could not be accommodated. Obama said he would veto a proposed Republican budget over Republican social spending cuts. This was also backed by Senate Democrats who objected to such cuts as that of Planned Parenthood. However, an agreement was reached between the two parties for a one-week budget to allow for more time to negotiate after Republicans dropped their stance on the Planned Parenthood issue. The two parties ultimately agreed on a 2011 federal budget the following week.
There were many reactions to the possible shutdown with some saying the economy could be hurt during a fragile recovery and others saying the lack of an unnecessary bureaucracy would not be noticed. There was also criticism that while senators and representatives would continue to get paid others such as the police and military personnel would either not be paid for their work or have their payments deferred.
Debt limit crisis
Main article: United States debt-ceiling crisis of 2011
On August 2, 2011, the United States public debt was projected to reach its statutory maximum. Without an increase in that limit the U.S. Treasury would be unable to borrow money to pay its bills. Although previous statutory increases have been routine, conservative members of the House refused to allow an increase without drastically reducing government spending. Over several weeks and months, negotiators from both parties, both houses, and the White House worked to forge a compromise. The compromise bill, the Budget Control Act of 2011, was enacted on August 2.
Main article: Acts of the 112th United States Congress
- April 15, 2011: 2011 United States federal budget (as Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011), Pub.L. 112–10
- August 2, 2011: Budget Control Act of 2011, Pub.L. 112–25
- September 16, 2011: Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, Pub.L. 112–29
- October 21, 2011: United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub.L. 112–41
- October 21, 2011: United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, Pub.L. 112–42
- October 21, 2011: United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, Pub.L. 112–43
- December 31, 2011: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, Pub.L. 112–81
- February 22, 2012: Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub.L. 112–96
- March 8, 2012: Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011, Pub.L. 112–98
- April 4, 2012: Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK Act), Pub.L. 112–105
- April 5, 2012: Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act), Pub.L. 112–106
- July 6, 2012: Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21 Act), Pub.L. 112–141
- July 9, 2012: Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), Pub.L. 112–144
- September 28, 2012: Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013, Pub.L. 112–175
- November 27, 2012: Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012, Pub.L. 112–199
- January 2, 2013: American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, Pub.L. 112–240
- American Jobs Act, S. 1549
- Cut, Cap and Balance Act, H.R. 2560
- Federal Reserve Transparency Act, S. 202, H.R. 459
- No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, H.R. 3
- PROTECT IP Act, S. 968
- Protect Life Act, H.R. 358
- Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, H.R. 2
- Respect for Marriage Act, S. 598, H.R. 1116
- Stop Online Piracy Act, H.R. 3261
- See also: Active Legislation, 112th Congress, via senate.gov
- Resignations and new members are discussed in the "Changes in membership" section, below.
(shading indicates majority caucus)
|End of previous Congress||56||2||42||100||0|
|May 3, 2011||46||99||1|
|May 9, 2011||47||100||0|
|December 17, 2012||50||99||1|
|December 26, 2012||51||100||0|
|January 1, 2013||46||99||1|
|January 2, 2013||47||100||0|
|Latest voting share||7001530000000000000♠53%||7001470000000000000♠47%|
|Beginning of the next Congress||53||2||45||100||0|
House of Representatives
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|End of previous Congress||255||179||434||1|
|February 9, 2011||241||434||1|
|February 28, 2011||192||433||2|
|May 9, 2011||240||432||3|
|May 24, 2011||193||433||2|
|June 21, 2011||192||432||3|
|July 12, 2011||193||433||2|
|August 3, 2011||192||432||3|
|September 13, 2011||242||434||1|
|January 25, 2012||191||433||2|
|January 31, 2012||192||434||1|
|March 6, 2012||191||433||2|
|March 20, 2012||190||432||3|
|June 12, 2012||191||433||2|
|July 7, 2012||241||432||3|
|July 31, 2012||240||431||4|
|August 15, 2012||190||430||5|
|November 6, 2012||193||241||434||1|
|November 21, 2012||192||433||2|
|December 3, 2012||191||432||3|
|January 2, 2013||240||431||4|
|Latest voting share||7001443000000000000♠44.3%||7001557000000000000♠55.7%|
|Beginning of next Congress||200||233||433||2|
Section contents:Senate: Majority (D), Minority (R) • House: Majority (R), Minority (D)
Majority (Democratic) leadership
Minority (Republican) leadership
- Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell
- Assistant Minority Leader (Minority Whip): Jon Kyl
- Conference Chairman: Lamar Alexander, until 2012
- Policy Committee Chairman: John Thune, until 2012
- Conference Vice Chair: John Barrasso, until 2012
- National Senatorial Committee Chair: John Cornyn
- Deputy Whips: Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Mike Crapo, Saxby Chambliss, Rob Portman, Olympia Snowe, David Vitter, Roger Wicker
House of Representatives
Majority (Republican) leadership
Minority (Democratic) leadership
- Minority Leader: Nancy Pelosi
- Minority Whip: Steny Hoyer
- Assistant Democratic Leader: Jim Clyburn
- Senior Chief Deputy Minority Whip: John Lewis
- Chief Deputy Minority Whips: Maxine Waters, Jim Matheson, Ed Pastor, Jan Schakowsky, Joseph Crowley, Diana DeGette, G. K. Butterfield, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Peter Welch
- Caucus Chairman: John B. Larson
- Caucus Vice-Chairman: Xavier Becerra
- Campaign Committee Chairman: Steve Israel
- Steering/Policy Committee Co-Chairs: Rosa DeLauro and George Miller
- Organization, Study, and Review Chairman: Mike Capuano
For the first time in the history of Congress, over half its members were millionaires as of 2012; Democrats had a mediannet worth of $1.04 million, while the Republicans median was "almost exactly" $1.00 million. In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 2012; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 2014; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 2016.
2 Independents, caucusing with Democrats