What Is The Average Age Of Congress
The average age of the 117th Congress is 59 years old and the median is 60 years old. This is much higher than the median age of 38 years in the United States in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Of its 435 members, the House has 38 members born in the 1980s and one born in the 1990s, while the Senate welcomed its first millennial. But the age groups with the biggest gains, compared to the 116th Congress, were those born in the 1930s and 1960s. Members in the 80+ and 50-59 age group saw gains, while the 30-39 age group saw the biggest losses. Members of Congress are, overall, getting older.
How Much Damage Have Republicans Done In The States
Turns out making cuts to public services to fit an ideology of small government and traditionalism is just not very popular.
Mr. Grossmann is the author of Red State Blues: How the Conservative Revolution Stalled in the States.
The 2018 election marked at least a temporary end to Republicans rise to power in many states. Before their losses in that election, Republicans had full control of 26 states, giving them a sustained opportunity to transform American subnational government.
Liberals certainly feared the worst from this Republican grip on the states. Dark portraits of the Koch brothers network and the American Legislative Exchange Council suggested that Republicans were in a position to fundamentally reorient states to scale back public services, serve corporations and the rich, and impose a conservative social agenda. Democrats, from this perspective, would need years, if not decades, to reverse the trend.
The Republican Party still controls many more state governments and legislative chambers than Democrats nationwide. But the fact is, the Republican results at the state level have not been very impressive. Republican-controlled state governments largely failed to enact policies that advance conservative goals. They have been effective at staying in power but have not altered the reach of government or its socio-economic impact.
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Changes To House Rules
After Democrats took control of the House in the 116th Congress, they voted to change some rules from the previous session of Congress when Republicans were in control. Some of the changes appear below.
- PAYGO: Democrats approved PAYGO, a provision that requires legislation that would increase the deficit to be offset by spending cuts or revenue increases.
- Ethics: Democrats made changes to House ethics rules that required all House members to take ethics training, not just new members. The rules also required members to reimburse taxpayers for settlements that that result from a members discrimination of someone based on race, religion, sex, national origin, or disability, among other things. Lawmakers were also prohibited from sitting on corporate boards.
- Climate change committee: Democrats created a new climate change committee to address the issue. The committee was not given subpoena power or the ability to bring bills to the floor.
A full explanation of the rules changes can be viewed here.
The House Of Representatives
117th Congress membership breakdown by party:
Freshmen Class: There will be 60 freshmen in the 117th Congress. Seventeen of those seats flipped during the 2020 general election, with Republicans picking up 14 seats and Democrats picking up 3. This resulted in a current net gain of 11 seats for Republicans. Eleven of the Republicans who picked up seats defeated Democrats who flipped seats in the wave year of 2018, while one GOP pickup came from the defeat of long-time Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, one came in an open seat and one was in a Libertarian-held seat .
None of the new Democratic House members defeated sitting Republicans.
Total 2020 flipped House districts: 17
- Democrat: 3
- Democrats: 89
- Republicans: 29
The 117th Congress will see a record number of women in the House, and a record number of Republican women. Ten of the Republicans who flipped Democratic seats were women.
Total freshmen women: 27
Republican Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, born August 1, 1995, will be the youngest member of this Congress at age 25. He takes that title from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York who, at 31, is now the chamber’s second youngest member. Cawthorn is also the first member of Congress born in the 1990s.
Making House history:
Th United States Congress: A Survey Of Books Written By Members
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Almost 40 Percent Of House Members More Than Half Republicans Cite Business Experience
In addition to small business owners and corporate executives, the House is filled with people who worked in finance, insurance and banking.
Members with business backgrounds sometimes argue that their outside the Beltway experience will enable them to run government more like a business to reduce grift and waste and to pass laws more efficiently. Indeed, a majority of Americans think the country would be better governed with more people from business and management, according to a 2014 Gallup poll.
House members with business backgrounds get more contributions from corporations and vote for pro-business legislation more often. Other research has shown that states with more legislators who worked in the insurance industry are likely to pass bills more favorable to it.
Diversity Of The Freshman Class
The demographics of the 116th U.S. Congress freshmen were more diverse than any previous incoming class.
At least 25 new congressional representatives were Hispanic, Native American, or people of color, and the incoming class included the first Native American women, the first Muslim women, and the two youngest women ever elected. The 116th Congress included more women elected to the House than any previous Congress.
Opinionhow Can Democrats Fight The Gop Power Grab On Congressional Seats You Wont Like It
Facing mounting pressure from within the party, Senate Democrats finally hinted Tuesday that an emboldened Schumer may bring the For the People Act back for a second attempt at passage. But with no hope of GOP support for any voting or redistricting reforms and Republicans Senate numbers strong enough to require any vote to cross the 60-vote filibuster threshold, Schumers effort will almost certainly fail.
Senate Democrats are running out of time to protect Americas blue cities, and the cost of inaction could be a permanent Democratic minority in the House. Without resorting to nuclear filibuster reform tactics, Biden, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may be presiding over a devastating loss of Democrats most reliable electoral fortresses.
Partisan Composition Of State Legislatures
The partisan composition of state legislatures refers to which political party holds the majority of seats in the State Senate and State House. Altogether, there are 1,972 state senators and 5,411 state representatives.The breakdown of chamber control after the November 2020 election is as follows:
- 37 chambers
- One chamber with power sharing between the parties
The breakdown of chamber control prior to the November 2020 election was as follows:
- 39 chambers
state government trifecta
As of August 15, 2021, there are 23 Republican trifectas, 15 Democratic trifectas, and 12 divided governments where neither party holds trifecta control.
The Battleground States Advancing Controversial Election And Voting Bills
May 7, 2021 / 9:51 AM / CBS News
Washington Several battleground states controlled by Republicans have pushed for big changes in voting and election laws in recent months, in the wake of former President Donald Trumps electoral loss and a rise in mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic.
These states are considering changes to election laws, such as measures to enforce additional ID requirements, restrict access to dropboxes and shrink the pool of voters.
Arizona, Florida, and Texas each have growing and increasingly diverse populations and play a substantial role in the outcome of presidential contests. All three have Republican legislatures and governorships. Michigan has a Democratic governor, but its Republican-controlled legislature is considering several bills that could make absentee voting more difficult.
Arizona and Michigan narrowly supported President Biden in the 2020 election, and Mr. Trump won Florida and Texas. Georgia, which Mr. Biden also won, has already passed a controversial voting law including some new restrictions.
Here is a rundown of some of the key states states proposing changes to voting and election laws:
Climate Deniers In The 117th Congress
According to new analysis from the Center for American Progress, there are still 139 elected officials in the 117th Congress, including 109 representatives and 30 senators, who refuse to acknowledge the scientific evidence of human-caused climate change. All 139 of these climate-denying elected officials have made recent statements casting doubt on the clear, established scientific consensus that the world is warmingand that human activity is to blame. These same 139 climate-denying members have received more than $61 million in lifetime contributions from the coal, oil, and gas industries.
Minorities Veterans And Retiring Members
Total Black members in the House and Senate: 61House: 58
- Newly elected: 8
- Reelected incumbents: 50
- Reelected incumbent: 1
- No election: 2
Total Latino members in the House and Senate: 44House: 39
- Newly elected House: 6
- Reelected House incumbents: 33
- Newly elected Senate: 1
- No election: 4
Total LGBTQ members in the House and Senate: 11House: 9
- Newly elected: 2
- Reelected incumbents: 7
- No election: 2
Total veteran members in the House and Senate: 91House: 74
- Newly elected: 14
- Reelected incumbents: 60
- Newly elected: 2
- Reelected incumbents: 9
- No election: 6
Retiring members in the House and Senate: 3
- Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina
- Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
- Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas
CNN’s Chandelis Duster contributed to this report.
Connect With Members Of The 117th Congress
FiscalNotes solutions allow government relations professionals like you to build relationships with members of the 117th Congress. Identifying constituents of members with similar biographies lets you make stronger personal connections and build relationships with specific legislators or groups of legislators.
FiscalNotes stakeholder and people datasets as well as CQs immense full member bios that include, contracts, grants, and companies in their district/state, as well as average interest groups ratings, lets you take things to the next level when building a report on the likely members most aligned with your issues.
Once youre ready to start your outreach, FiscalNotes legislator and staffer directory, Knowlegis, has the most up to date contact information for Congress as the best deliverability rate to the Hill, and the option of building mailing lists by issue area, party, role, caucus, voting record, committee, delegation and so on.
Gubernatorial And Legislative Party Control Of State Government
- Top 10 Closest Primaries: January to June 2020
- Wave elections
Gubernatorial and legislative party control of state government refers to the role of political parties in the power dynamic between state legislatures and executives. Below, we examine the partisan affiliation of the 1,972 state senators, 5,411 state representatives, and 50 state governors across the United States.
Partisan breakdown of state governments
Below, Ballotpedia presents our information on the partisan breakdown of state senators, state representatives, and governors as well as the state legislature and state executive branch as a whole. We also examine state government trifectas, which occur when the state house, the state senate, and the office of the governor are each controlled by one political party. Trifectas are important to highlight since unified partisan affiliation between the branches of state government can impact a states legislative process.
The following maps display current state government trifectas as well as historical trifectas leading up to the 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 elections. Use the buttons below to select a map.
Florida Vs California: How Two States Tackled Covid
The researchers theorized that one reason for the change is that Democrats were in charge of states where people who had the virus first arrived in the country but Republicans were less stringent about safeguards, which could have contributed to their states ultimately higher incidence and death rates.
The early trends could be explained by high Covid-19 cases and deaths among Democratic-led states that are home to initial ports of entry for the virus in early 2020, the researchers wrote. However, the subsequent reversal in trends, particularly with respect to testing, may reflect policy differences that could have facilitated the spread of the virus.
The study, which which was published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Preventive Medicine, examined Covid-19 incidence, death, testing, and test positivity rates from March 15 through December 15, 2020, when there were 16 million confirmed cases in the U.S. and 300,000 deaths. It focused on per-capita infection and death rates in the 26 GOP-led states and 24 Democratic-led states and Washington, D.C., and made statistical adjustments for issues such as population density.
But policy differences between the Republican and Democratic leaders emerged as a big factor for the reversal of the states fortunes, the study suggests.
One of the most concerning things last year is the politicization of public health restrictions, Lee said. Theyre not opinions, theyre based on evidence.
Who Are The Youngest Members
As for the youngest members of the 117th Congress, they are all part of the House of Representatives. Most were born in the 1980s with the exception of the youngest member of them all.
Here are the five youngest members of Congress:
- Madison Cawthorn, age 25, is the Republican U.S. Representative for North Carolina’s 11th congressional district. He is the first member of Congress born in the 1990s.
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, age 31, is the Democratic U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district
- Sara Jacobs, age 31, is the Democratic U.S. Representative for California’s 53rd congressional district
- Ritchie Torres, age 32, is the Democratic U.S. Representative for New York’s 15th congressional district
- Jake LaTurner, age 32, is the Republican U.S. Representative for Kansas’s 2nd congressional district
Democrats May Have Control At The Federal Level But Republicans Are Pushing Back Through States
30 state legislatures are now controlled by Republicans, while only 18 are controlled by Democrats.
Though the hotly anticipated Blue Wave did not sweep over the country as thoroughly as some analysts had predicted in the weeks and months leading up to the American election on November 3, 2020, theres no denying that Democrats notched major victories in both the Senate and the White House, despite losing several seats in the House of Representatives.
But that victory is beginning to be undercut by the majority of state legislatures, which are Republican-controlled, as they begin to enact stricter voting laws, pass state sovereignty bills and push through highly conservative legislation to push back against Democratic ideologies in Washington.
The Fossil Fuel Industrys Funding Of Denial
CAPs analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that these 139 climate science deniers have accepted more than $61 million in lifetime direct contributions from the oil, gas, and coal industries, which comes out to an average of $442,293 per elected official of Congress that denies climate change. This figure includes all contributions above the Federal Election Commissions mandated reporting threshold of $200 from management, employees, and political action committees in the fossil fuel industries. Not included in this data are the many other avenues available to fossil fuel interests to influence campaigns and elected officials. For example, oil, gas, and coal companies spent heavily during the 2020 election cycle to keep the Senate under the control of former Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a known climate denierwith major oil companies like Valero, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips contributing more than $1 million each to the conservative Senate Leadership Fund.
This analysis only shows direct, publicly disclosed contributions to federal candidates. The fossil fuel industry regularly spends millions of dollars of dark money advertising to the public; shaping corporate decisions; lobbying members of Congress; and otherwise funding the infrastructure that makes climate denial politically feasible and even profitable.
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For instance, in 2020, Yarmuth won his Louisville district with a comfortable 62.7 percent of the vote. By turning Yarmuths single district into portions of two or three new districts, Republicans could turn his safe blue seat into swing districts and safe Republican strongholds. But the naked politicking of that kind of move would invite dozens of court challenges from outraged Democrats and election integrity organizations, tying up GOP time and treasure in the middle of campaign season.
Yet relying on the Republican-aligned Supreme Court to find a remedy is a gamble that could just as easily backfire on Democrats. In the 2019 case Rucho v. Common Cause, the conservative majority ruled 5-4 that Congress, not the federal courts, must address partisan gerrymandering. As a result, half a dozen Democrat-filed federal cases were tossed out and the gerrymandered district maps allowed to stand. More outcomes like that would be catastrophic both for Democrats and democracy.
For now, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee is fighting back against Republican efforts in a flurry of high-profile lawsuits. The organization, chaired by former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., has said it is committed to countering the Republican plan to split up blue cities.
About 5 Percent Of Representatives Dont Have A Bachelors Degree Compared With About Two
The path to the House starts with higher education. About half of members graduated from public universities, often in their home states, but more than 10 percent of representatives have bachelors degrees from elite, private colleges.
It makes sense to elect educated leaders, and voters seem to think a college education is a necessary qualification for office. But the link between having a degree and being a more effective politician is tenuous. Research on legislators in the United States and in Brazil shows that lawmakers with more formal education are not more productive, more popular or less likely to be corrupt.
The gap between legislators and their constituents is stark in graduate education, too. Almost 70 percent of representatives attended graduate school, but only around 10 percent of Americans 25 and older can say the same.
Religious Makeup Of New Congress Similar To That Of Previous Class
While the overall composition of the new Congress is similar to that of the previous Congress roughly nine-in-ten members of each identified as Christian the 116th Congress has 14 fewer Christians than the 115th, and 20 fewer Christians than the 114th Congress .
Anglicans/Episcopalians and Presbyterians experienced the largest losses in the 116th Congress, which has nine fewer members in each of these groups compared with the previous Congress. Methodists, Congregationalists, Restorationists and Christian Scientists also lost at least one seat; there are no longer any Christian Scientists in Congress.
Some Protestant denominational families now have more members in the new Congress, led by those in the unspecified/other category, which gained 16 seats, bringing the total number in this category to 80. Among members of Congress, unspecified/other Protestants include those who say they are Christian, evangelical Christian, evangelical Protestant or Protestant, without specifying a denomination. By contrast, nondenominational Protestants, who also gained two seats , are Christians who specifically describe themselves as nondenominational.
There are five fewer Catholics and three fewer Mormons in the new Congress. There has been no change in the number of Orthodox Christians .
Sinema remains the sole member of Congress who publicly identifies as religiously unaffiliated, although there has been an increase of eight members in the dont know/refused category.
Th Congress: Breaking Down The Historic Numbers
— The 117th Congress, being sworn in Sunday, is historically diverse, with record-setting numbers of women, Black and Latino members and members who identify as LGBTQ.
But even as the new Congress begins, its roster will likely remain unsettled for months.
There will be two vacancies in the House: New York’s 22nd District will not have representation as legal challenges in the race continue, and Louisiana’s 5th District will not have representation due to the death of Republican Rep.-elect Luke Letlow. In the Senate, one of Georgia’s Senate seats will be vacant as Republican Sen. David Perdue battles in a runoff for the seat on January 5.
Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler is also running in Georgia’s dual runoff elections Tuesday. Perdue’s term finished at the end of the 116th Congress, so he is not included in the new Congress’ numbers. Loeffler’s term will continue unless she is defeated Tuesday, so she is counted.
In other changes to congressional rosters in the coming weeks, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be stepping down from her Senate seat to be replaced by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
Here is a breakdown by numbers of the new Congress as it begins, as well as some notable members who will be sworn into office.
Highly Effective Republican Lawmakers In The 116th House Of Representatives
Top Ten List House Republicans
Turning to the Republican side of the aisle, the above table lists the most effective Republican lawmakers in the 116th House. It also shows the percentage of the vote that each of these lawmakers received in their 2018 elections to enter the 116th House, as well as whether they tend to be ideologically moderate or conservative in their voting patterns on the floor of the House.
In contrast to the House average of winning 65% of the vote, eight of the top ten Republican lawmakers won with 58% or less, which suggests that they were coming from at-risk districts. Perhaps they focused on achieving lawmaking successes to aid in their reelection efforts. And indeed, in 2020, all of these at-risk top performers won reelection . Recent research, however, suggests that lawmaking effectiveness is more beneficial in primary election contests than in the general election.
Coming off a stint as subcommittee chair of Transportation Security, Rep. Katko continued his legislative efforts in the transportation area. And Rep. Young continued his focus on issues of importance to his home state of Alaska. The fact that those with tightly tailored agendas were at the very top of our list is consistent with recent research on the lawmaking value of gaining expertise in Congress through specialization.