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112th United States Congress

Legislative term

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112th United States Congress
111th ←
→ 113th
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
Senate PresidentJoe Biden (D)
Senate President pro temDaniel Inouye (D)
(until December 17, 2012)
Patrick Leahy (D)
(from December 17, 2012)
House SpeakerJohn Boehner (R)
Members100 senators
435 members of the House
6 non-voting delegates
Senate MajorityDemocratic
House MajorityRepublican
Sessions
1st: January 5, 2011[1] – January 3, 2012[2]
2nd: January 3, 2012[2] – January 3, 2013

The 112th 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.[3]

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). It was also the first Congress since the 36th Congress, over 150 years, in which the Republican Party held the House but not the Senate. In this Congress, the House of Representatives had the largest number of Republican members, 242, since the 80th Congress (1947–1949).[4] This was the first, and thus far only, Congress since the 79th (1945-1947) that did not include a member of the Kennedy family.

112th United States Congress Intro articles: 4

Major events

President Obama delivered the 2011 State of the Union Address on January 25, 2011
After delivering the 2012 State of the Union Address on January 24, 2012, President Obama embraces Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who had been shot the previous year.

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.[9] 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.[10][11][12] 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.[11] 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[13] and others saying the lack of an unnecessary bureaucracy would not be noticed.[14] 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.[15]

Debt limit crisis

Speaker Boehner meeting with President Obama at the White House during the 2011 debt ceiling crisis

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.

112th United States Congress Major events articles: 7

Major legislation

Enacted

Proposed

See also: Active Legislation, 112th Congress, via senate.gov

Party summary

Resignations and new members are discussed in the "Changes in membership" section, below.

Senate

Final Senate Membership
     51 Democrats      47 Republicans
     2 Independents, caucusing with Democrats
Party
(shading indicates majority caucus)
Total Vacant
Democratic Independent Republican
End of previous Congress 56 2 42 100 0
Begin 51 2 47 100 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
Final voting share 53% 47%
Beginning of the next Congress 53 2 45 100 0

House of Representatives

Final House Membership
     191 Democrats      240 Republicans
     4 Vacant
Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Total Vacant
Democratic Republican
End of previous Congress 255 179 434 1
Begin 193 242 435 0
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 13, 2012 192 241 433 2
November 15, 2012 193 434 1
November 21, 2012 192 433 2
December 3, 2012 191 432 3
January 2, 2013 240 431 4
Final voting share 44.3% 55.7%
Non-voting members 6 0 6 0
Beginning of next Congress 200 233 433 2

Leadership

Section contents: Senate: Majority (D), Minority (R)House: Majority (R), Minority (D)

Senate

Senate President
Senate President pro Tempore
Daniel Inouye (D)
(until December 17, 2012)
Patrick Leahy (D)
(from December 17, 2012)

Majority (Democratic) leadership

Minority (Republican) leadership

House of Representatives

Speaker of the House

Majority (Republican) leadership

Minority (Democratic) leadership

112th United States Congress Major legislation articles: 82

Members

For the first time in the history of Congress, over half its members were millionaires as of 2012; Democrats had a median net worth of $1.04 million, while the Republicans median was "almost exactly" $1.00 million.[21][22] 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.

Senate

House of Representatives

112th United States Congress Members articles: 1047