Join Govtracks Advisory Community
Were looking to learn more about who uses GovTrack and what features you find helpful or think could be improved. If you can, please take a few minutes to help us improve GovTrack for users like you.
Start by telling us more about yourself:
We hope to make GovTrack more useful to policy professionals like you. Please sign up for our advisory group to be a part of making GovTrack a better tool for what you do.
Young Americans have historically been the least involved in politics, despite the huge consequences policies can have on them. By joining our advisory group, you can help us make GovTrack more useful and engaging to young voters like you.
Our mission is to empower every American with the tools to understand and impact Congress. We hope that with your input we can make GovTrack more accessible to minority and disadvantaged communities who we may currently struggle to reach. Please join our advisory group to let us know what more we can do.
We love educating Americans about how their government works too! Please help us make GovTrack better address the needs of educators by joining our advisory group.
Would you like to join our advisory group to work with us on the future of GovTrack?
Thank you for joining the GovTrack Advisory Community! Well be in touch.
United States House Of Representatives
|United States House of Representatives|
|Flag of the U.S. House of Representatives|
|Plurality voting in 46 statesVaries in 4 states|
The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, with the Senate being the upper house. Together they compose the national bicameral legislature of the United States.
The House’s composition is established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The House is composed of representatives who sit in congressional districts allocated to each state on a basis of population as measured by the U.S. 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. The number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. If enacted, the DC Admission Act would permanently increase the number of representatives to 436. In addition, there are currently six non-voting members, bringing the total membership of the House of Representatives to 441 or fewer with vacancies. As of the 2010 Census, the largest delegation is that of California, with 53 representatives. Seven states have only one representative: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.
Will Hurd The Only Black House Republican Now Sixth Gop Recent Retirement
The only black Republican in the House of Representatives announced he would not be seeking re-election Thursday evening, the sixth such announcement in little over a week.
Texas Rep. Will Hurd, who was first elected in 2015, said that he would be leaving Congress to work on issues “at the nexus between technology and national security.” The former CIA agent assured that he would stay involved with politics, but wanted to leave in order to aid the intelligence community “in different ways.”
“When I took the oath of office after joining the CIA, I swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all its enemies,” Hurd said in a statement posted to social media. “I took the same oath on my first day in Congress. This oath doesnt have a statute of limitations.”
Hurds retirement means that South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott will now be the only African American Republican serving in Congress after former Utah Rep. Mia Love lost her re-election campaign during the midterms last year.
I have made the decision to not seek reelection for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas in order to pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security. https://t.co/GeZ4Hh264f
Rep. Will Hurd August 2, 2019
Hurd was notably one of only four Republicans in the House to vote in favor of a House resolution last month that about four Democratic congresswomen of color.
Incumbents Defeated In Primary Elections
The following table lists incumbents defeated in 2020 House primary elections or conventions.
|Incumbents defeated in primaries|
In the 2018 midterm elections, 378 U.S. House incumbents ran for re-election. This was the lowest number of U.S. House incumbents seeking re-election since 1992.
Thirty-four incumbentsâ9 percentâlost their re-election bids. That included two Democrats and 32 Republicans. This was the highest percentage of incumbents defeated since 2012, when 10.2 percent were not re-elected.
The following data for congressional re-election rates from 2000 to 2016 was reported in Vital Statistics, a joint research project of the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute. Find the original datasets and methodology here. Data for the 2018 election came from Ballotpedia.
|Defeated U.S. House incumbents by party, 2000-2018|
|U.S. House incumbents retired, defeated, or reelected, 2000-2018|
|Year||Percentage of those seeking reelection|
Membership Qualifications And Apportionment
Under Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, seats in the House of Representatives are apportioned among the states by population, as determined by the census conducted every ten years. Each state is entitled to at least one representative, however small its population.
The only constitutional rule relating to the size of the House states: “The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative.” Congress regularly increased the size of the House to account for population growth until it fixed the number of voting House members at 435 in 1911. In 1959, upon the admission of Alaska and Hawaii, the number was temporarily increased to 437 , and returned to 435 four years later, after the reapportionment consequent to the 1960 census.
The Constitution does not provide for the representation of the District of Columbia or of territories. The District of Columbia and the territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are each represented by one non-voting delegate. Puerto Rico elects a resident commissioner, but other than having a four-year term, the resident commissioner’s role is identical to the delegates from the other territories. The five delegates and resident commissioner may participate in debates; before 2011, they were also allowed to vote in committees and the Committee of the Whole when their votes would not be decisive.
Important Dates And Deadlines
|Primary dates and filing deadlines, 2020|
|State||Filing deadline for primary candidates||Primary date|
|04/21/2020 & 05/08/2020||08/04/2020|
|04/24/2020 & 6/12/2020|
|05/05/2020 & 06/02/2020||09/01/2020|
The embedded spreadsheet below details filing requirements for major-party and unaffiliated congressional candidates in 2020.
What Was The Outlook Prior To The Election
Republicans needed to get to 218 seats to win back the majority they lost in 2018. The National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of House Republicans, in early 2019 identified dozens of Democratic-held districts to target. They included 30 Democrats who were elected or re-elected in 2018 in districts that voted for President Donald Trump in 2016. All but one Dave Loebsack of Iowa sought re-election. Most were first-term members who defeated or succeeded Republicans in the 2018 election. Republicans won some of these Trump Democrat districts but needed to unseat most to win back control of the House.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm of House Democrats, identified more than 40 Frontline Democrats it expected to have very competitive re-election campaigns. Many of these members represented suburban districts that have diversified their populations in recent years. In most of these districts, Democrats were running for re-election for the first time. The Frontline Democrats amassed large campaign funds.
Democrats also identified more than three dozen Republican-held districts they intended to target, including seven in Texas.
Democrats also made a play for the suburban Texas districts of retiring Republican Reps. Pete Olson of the 22nd District and Kenny Marchant of the 24th District. They lost the 22nd District, but the 24th is currently too close to call, with Republican Beth Van Duyne leading.
Results Summary And Analysis
The Democratic Party won control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections. The Democrats gained a net total of 41 seats from the total number of seats they had won in the 2016 elections. This was their largest gain of House seats in an election since the 1974 elections, when the Democrats gained 49 House seats. Democrats won the popular vote by more than 9.7Â million votes or 8.6%, the largest midterm margin for any party and the largest margin on record for a minority party.
Voter turnout in this election was 50.3%, the highest turnout in a U.S. midterm election since 1914.
Note that the results summary does not include blank and over/under votes which were included in the official results or votes cast in the voided election in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district.â
United States House Of Representatives Elections
The 2020 United States House of Representatives elections were held on November 3, 2020, with special elections throughout the year. Elections were held to elect representatives from all 435 congressional districts across each of the 50 U.S. states, as well as six non-voting delegates from the District of Columbia and the inhabited U.S. territories. Numerous other federal, state, and local elections, including the 2020 presidential election and the 2020 Senate elections, were also held on this date. The winners of this election are serving in the 117th United States Congress, with seats apportioned among the states based on the 2010 United States Census. Democrats have held a majority in the House of Representatives since January 3, 2019, as a result of the 2018 elections, when they won 235 seats.
Filed Candidates By Political Party
As of September 7, 2020, there were 3,263 candidates filed with the FEC to run for U.S. House in 2020. Of those, 2,767â1,291 Democrats and 1,476 Republicansâwere from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 3,244 candidates filed with the FEC, including 1,566 Democrats and 1,155 Republicans.
The following chart shows the number of filed candidates by political party.
Voting Members By State
As of July 30,2021:
|Executive Director of EMILY’s ListPolitical aide|
|Delaware Health and Social Services SecretaryDelaware Labor Secretary|
|Assistant General Counsel to the Florida Department of Community AffairsPresident of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers|
|McLean County Board of CommissionersAir Force pilot|
|President of the Maryland State SenateMaryland Board of Higher Education|
As of January 3,2021:
Historical Special Election Data
Special elections, 2013-2020
Fifty special elections to the United States Congress were held during the 113th through 116th Congresses. During that time, special elections were called for 16 seats vacated by Democrats and 34 vacated by Republicans.
The table below details how many congressional seats changed parties as the result of a special election between 2013 and 2020. The numbers on the left side of the table reflect how many vacant seats were originally held by each party, while the numbers on the right side of the table show how many vacant seats each party won in special elections.
|Congressional special election vacancies and results, 113th Congress to 116th Congress|
|U.S. Senate special election partisan change from special elections, 113th Congress to 116th Congress|
|U.S. House special election partisan change from special elections, 113th Congress to 116th Congress|
|To see a list of all the Congressional special elections referenced in the table above, click at the right.||Â|
|Results of special elections to the 113th, 114th, and 115th Congress|
Special elections, 1986-2012
|Results of special elections to Congress|
About The House Of Representatives
The United States is also divided into 435 congressional districts with a population of about 750,000 each. Each district elects a representative to the House of Representatives for a two-year term.
As in the Senate, the day-to-day activities of the House are controlled by the majority party. Here is a count of representatives by party:
Districts That Flipped In 2018
The map below highlights congressional districts that changed party control in the general elections on November 6, 2018.
The following table lists congressional districts that changed party control in the general elections on November 6, 2018. It also includes 2020 general election race ratings from three outlets.
|Flipped congressional districts, 2018|
Republicans Score Big Gains In House Pelosi Barely Hanging On
In fact, not only did they do poorly across the board, but, as a Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee spokeswoman astutely noted, President Trump acted not as the Democrat-expected anchor but as a buoy for Republican legislative candidates.
That Democrats vastly misjudged the appeal of their radical agenda is crystal clear , and perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in the House races. Nancy Pelosi truly expected her party to pick up seats, yet it appears its the Republicans who are on track to accomplish the 10-15 seat gains the Democrats expected in their column.
Pelosi on Election Day: “Democrats are poised to further strengthen our majority.”
Pelosi today: “I never said that we were going to pick up” seats.
Kevin McCarthy November 13, 2020
Despite AOCs declaration that Democrats lost the House, they have so far managed to win 219 seats .
Powerline notes that Republicans have flipped 12 House seats: RealClearPolitics notes that Republicans have picked up a net of 9 House seats. RCP projects that Republicans will pick up a net 10-13 seats when the counting is done.
12 FLIPS in the House for the GOP!
CA39 Young Kim
Students For Trump November 14, 2020
Of the House races yet to be called as of Friday, Republicans are leading in 11 of the 14 races.
United States House Of Representatives Elections 2022
Democrats maintained a majority in the U.S. House as a result of the 2020 elections, winning 222 seats to Republicans’ 213. Democrats flipped three seats and Republicans flipped 15, including one held by a Libertarian. See below for more on seats that changed party hands after the 2020 elections.
Gerrymandering Vs The Popular Will
The ideal of one person, one vote is that every vote should have equal weight. Yet serious disparities in representation have persisted from the first days of the Republic to the Supreme Courts 1962 decision in Baker v Carr, described by Chief Justice Earl Warren in his memoirs as the most important case of tenure on the Court. Baker v Carr overruled Justice Felix Frankfurters injunction that Courts ought not to enter this political thicket of redistricting. It asserted that an inequity in representation is a justiciable constitutional cause of action upon which appellants are entitled to a trial and a decision. There ensued a veritable flood of judicial appeals claiming unfair political districts at the federal, state and local levels.
Since then the Supreme Court has heard all imaginable arguments, and its justices have expressed wildly different opinions. This is not surprising for there is no clear theoretical or practical definition of what constitutes an equitable districting plan. Confronted by two plans there are no principles with which to decide that one is more equitable than the other. Only one clear-cut criterion has survived: Since equal representation for equal numbers of people the fundamental goal for the House of Representatives, the as nearly as practicable standard requires that the State make a good-faith effort to achieve precise mathematical equality.
Govtrackus Is Taking A New Focus On Civic Education
Help us develop the tools to bring real-time legislative data into the classroom.
If youve visited a bill page on GovTrack.us recently, you may have noticed a new study guide tab located just below the bill title. This is part of a new project to develop better tools for bringing real-time legislative data into the classroom. We hope to enable educators to build lesson plans centered around any bill or vote in Congress, even those as recent as yesterday.
Were looking for feedback from educators about how GovTrack can be used and improved for your classroom. If you teach United States government and would like to speak with us about bringing legislative data into your classroom, please reach out!
Personnel Mail And Office Expenses
House members are eligible for a Member’s Representational Allowance to support them in their official and representational duties to their district. The MRA is calculated based on three components: one for personnel, one for official office expenses and one for official or franked mail. The personnel allowance is the same for all members; the office and mail allowances vary based on the members’ district’s distance from Washington, D.C., the cost of office space in the member’s district, and the number of non-business addresses in their district. These three components are used to calculate a single MRA that can fund any expenseâeven though each component is calculated individually, the franking allowance can be used to pay for personnel expenses if the member so chooses. In 2011 this allowance averaged $1.4Â million per member, and ranged from $1.35 to $1.67Â million.
The Personnel allowance was $944,671 per member in 2010. Each member may employ no more than 18 permanent employees. Members’ employees’ salary is capped at $168,411 as of 2009.
Number Of House Members Per State
Unlike the U.S. Senate, which consists of two members from each state, the geographic makeup of the House is determined by the population of each state. The only stipulation spelled out in the U.S. Constitution comes in Article I, Section 2, which guarantees each state, territory or district at least one representative.
The Constitution also states that there can be no more than one representative in the House for every 30,000 citizens.
The number of representatives each state gets in the House of Representatives is based on population. That process, known as reapportionment, occurs every 10 years after the decennial population count conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.
U.S. Rep. William B. Bankhead of Alabama, an opponent of the legislation, called the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929 “an abdication and surrender of vital fundamental powers.” One of the functions of Congress, which created the census, was to adjust the number of seats in Congress to reflect the number of people living in the United States, he said.
Arguments For Expanding The Number Of House Members
Advocates for increasing the number of seats in the House say such a move would increase the quality of representation by reducing the number of constituents each lawmaker represents. Each House member now represents about 710,000 people.
The group ThirtyThousand.org argues that the framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights never intended for the population of each congressional district to exceed 50,000 or 60,000. “The principle of proportionally equitable representation has been abandoned,” the group argues.
Another argument for increasing the size of the House is that is would diminish the influence of lobbyists. That line of reasoning assumes that lawmakers would be more closely connected to their constituents and therefore less likely to listen to special interests.
What Is The New Balance Of Power In The House
House Democrats held onto their majority but lost seats to Republican challengers.
More than a dozen incumbent Democrats lost re-election bids, despite earlier projections they could gain up to 15 seats.
Democrats took the chamber after they netted 41 seats in the 2018 midterm elections, their largest single-year pickup since the post-Watergate midterms of 1974. But some of those new Democrats were among the partys losers in 2020.
Gop Women Made Big Gains
While the majority of the Republican caucus will still be men come 2021, there will be far more Republican women in Congress than there were this year. So far, it looks like at least 26 GOP women will be in the House next year, surpassing the record of 25 from the 109th Congress. Thats thanks in part to the record number of non-incumbent Republican women 15 whove won House contests. And its also because of how well Republican women did in tight races. The table below shows the Republican women who ran in Democratic-held House districts that were at least potentially competitive, according to FiveThirtyEights forecast. As of this writing, seven of them have won.
GOP women have flipped several Democratic seats
Republican women running for potentially competitive Democratic-held House seats and the status of their race as of 4:30 p.m Eastern on Nov. 11
Results are unofficial. Races are counted as projected only if the projection comes from ABC News. Excludes races in which the Republican candidate has either a less than 1 in 100 chance or greater than 99 in 100 chance of winning.