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96th United States Congress

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

96th United States Congress
95th ←
→ 97th

January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1981
Members100 senators
435 representatives
5 non-voting delegates
Senate majorityDemocratic
Senate PresidentWalter Mondale (D)
House majorityDemocratic
House SpeakerTip O'Neill (D)
1st: January 15, 1979 – January 3, 1980
2nd: January 3, 1980 – December 16, 1980

The 96th United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from January 3, 1979, to January 3, 1981, during the last two years of Jimmy Carter's presidency.

The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the 1970 census.

Both chambers retained a Democratic majority (though downgraded from the supermajority status in the previous Congress), and with President Carter, maintained an overall federal government trifecta.

This is the most recent Congress to feature a Democratic senator from Idaho, Frank Church, who lost re-election in 1980.

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Major events

Major legislation

Party summary


Party standings on the opening day of the 96th Congress
  57 Democratic Senators
  1 Independent Senator, caucusing with Democrats
  42 Republican Senators
(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of previous congress 58 1 41 100 0
Begin 58 1 41 100 0
End 55 44
Final voting share 55.0% 1.0% 44.0%
Beginning of next congress 46 1 53 100 0

House of Representatives

House seats by party holding plurality in state
  80+% to 100% Republican
  80+% to 100% Democratic
  60+% to 80% Republican
  60+% to 80% Democratic
  50+% to 60% Republican
  50+% to 60% Democratic
  striped: 50–50 split
(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of previous congress 275 141 0 416 19
Begin 276 156 1 433 2
End 272 158 4314
Final voting share 63.1% 36.7% 0.2%
Beginning of next congress 243 191 1 435 0


Senate President
Senate President pro tempore
House Speaker


Majority (Democratic) leadership

Minority (Republican) leadership

House of Representatives

Majority (Democratic) leadership

Minority (Republican) leadership



This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed in order of seniority, and representatives are listed by district.


Senators are popularly elected statewide every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress, In this Congress, Class 3 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1980; Class 1 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1982; and Class 2 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1984.

House of Representatives

The names of members of the House of Representatives are preceded by their district numbers.

Changes in membership

The count below reflects changes from the beginning of the first session of this Congress.


  • Replacements: 4
  • Deaths: 0
  • Resignations: 4
  • Vacancy: 0
  • Total seats with changes: 4
Senate changes
Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[b]
(Class 1)
Edmund Muskie
Resigned May 7, 1980 to become United States Secretary of State.
Successor appointed to finish the term.
George J. Mitchell
May 19, 1980
New Hampshire
(Class 3)
John A. Durkin
Resigned December 29, 1980 to give successor priority in seniority.
Successor appointed, having already been elected to the next term.
Warren Rudman
December 29, 1980
(Class 3)
Richard Stone
Resigned December 30, 1980 to give successor priority in seniority.
Successor appointed, having already been elected to the next term.
Paula Hawkins
January 1, 1981
(Class 3)
Donald Stewart
Resigned January 2, 1981 to give successor priority in seniority.
Successor appointed, having already been elected to the next term.
Jeremiah Denton
January 2, 1981

House of Representatives

  • Replacements: 7
  • Deaths: 1
  • Resignations: 4
  • Expulsion: 1
  • Contested election:
  • Total seats with changes: 10
House changes
District Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[b]
California 11th Vacant Rep. Leo Ryan died during previous congress William Royer (R) April 3, 1979
Wisconsin 6th Vacant Rep. William A. Steiger died during previous congress Tom Petri (R) April 3, 1979
Illinois 10th Abner Mikva (D) Resigned September 26, 1979, after being appointed judge of U.S. Court of Appeals John Porter (R) January 22, 1980
Pennsylvania 11th Dan Flood (D) Resigned January 31, 1980 Ray Musto (D) April 9, 1980
Louisiana 3rd Dave Treen (R) Resigned March 10, 1980, after being elected Governor of Louisiana Billy Tauzin (D) May 22, 1980
West Virginia 3rd John M. Slack Jr. (D) Died March 17, 1980 John G. Hutchinson (D) June 30, 1980
Michigan 13th Charles Diggs (D) Resigned June 3, 1980 George Crockett Jr. (D) November 4, 1980
New Mexico 2nd Harold L. Runnels (D) Died August 5, 1980 Vacant Not filled this term
Pennsylvania 1st Michael Myers (D) Expelled October 2, 1980
South Carolina 6th John Jenrette (D) Resigned December 10, 1980
New Jersey 4th Frank Thompson (D) Resigned December 29, 1980, after being censured by the House of Representatives


Lists of committees and their party leaders for members of the House and Senate committees can be found through the Official Congressional Directory at the bottom of this article. The directory after the pages of terms of service lists committees of the Senate, House (Standing with Subcommittees, Select and Special) and Joint and, after that, House/Senate committee assignments. On the committees section of the House and Senate in the Official Congressional Directory, the committee's members on the first row on the left side shows the chairman of the committee and on the right side shows the ranking member of the committee.


House of Representatives

Joint committees


Legislative branch agency directors


House of Representatives

See also


  1. ^ Elected as a Conservative but sat with the Republicans.
  2. ^ a b When seated or oath administered, not necessarily when service began.


  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 September 2023, at 13:00
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