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112th Congress Senate Committee Assignments 111th

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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.[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). In this Congress, the House of Representatives had the largest number of Republican members, 242, since the 80th Congress (1947–1949).[4] 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.[5]

Major events[edit]

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.[6]
  • 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.[7] 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.[8]
  • 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.[9]
  • January 1, 2013: United States fiscal cliff avoided. (See American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012)

Potential government shutdown[edit]

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.[10] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] Obama said he would veto a proposed Republican budget over Republican social spending cuts.[citation needed] This was also backed by Senate Democrats who objected to such cuts as that of Planned Parenthood.[11][12][13] 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.[12] The two parties ultimately agreed on a 2011 federal budget the following week.[citation needed]

There were many reactions to the possible shutdown with some saying the economy could be hurt during a fragile recovery[14] and others saying the lack of an unnecessary bureaucracy would not be noticed.[15] 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.[16]

Debt limit crisis[edit]

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.

Major legislation[edit]


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

Party summary[edit]

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



(shading indicates majority caucus)

End of previous Congress562421000
May 3, 201146991
May 9, 2011471000
December 17, 201250991
December 26, 2012511000
January 1, 201346991
January 2, 2013471000
Latest voting share7001530000000000000♠53%7001470000000000000♠47%
Beginning of the next Congress532451000

House of Representatives[edit]


(Shading indicates majority caucus)

End of previous Congress2551794341
February 9, 20112414341
February 28, 20111924332
May 9, 20112404323
May 24, 20111934332
June 21, 20111924323
July 12, 20111934332
August 3, 20111924323
September 13, 20112424341
January 25, 20121914332
January 31, 20121924341
March 6, 20121914332
March 20, 20121904323
June 12, 20121914332
July 7, 20122414323
July 31, 20122404314
August 15, 20121904305
November 6, 20121932414341
November 21, 20121924332
December 3, 20121914323
January 2, 20132404314
Latest voting share7001443000000000000♠44.3%7001557000000000000♠55.7%
Non-voting members6060
Beginning of next Congress2002334332


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


Majority (Democratic) leadership[edit]

Minority (Republican) leadership[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Majority (Republican) leadership[edit]

Minority (Democratic) leadership[edit]

  • 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[20]
  • Organization, Study, and Review Chairman: Mike Capuano[21]


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.[22][23] 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.


Final Senate Membership
     51 Democrats

     47 Republicans

     2 Independents, caucusing with Democrats

Final House Membership
     191 Democrats

     240 Republicans

     4 Vacant