Federal Relations

January 6, 2015

Getting to know the 114th Congress

Today, Tuesday, January 5th, kicks off the 114th year the United State’s federal government has met to legislate. Over the next two years, the Republican party will control both houses of Congress for the first time since President Obama took office in 2004.

US House of Representatives

US House of RepresentativesHouse Clerk

This Congress will be the largest Republican majority since 1928 when the party won 270 seats. The House will have 246 seats (having gained 12 seats), which is 56% of the House. While significant, it is not the 60 votes needed to overcome cloture or override a Presidential veto. In the Senate, the GOP will control 54 seats (having gained 9 seats in the 2014 election), but again, short of the 2/3s needed to invoke a cloture vote or override a Presidential veto.

Some other facts:

  • The median age in the House will be 57 years old with the youngest member Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) at age 30 and the oldest member John Conyers (D-MI-13) at age 85. Conyers will also be the longest-serving member of either house of Congress, having been first elected in 1964.
  • Forty-nine percent of the House, or 212 members, will have served less than a full six years, including 57 percent of Republican Representatives.
  • The House also has a record number of women — 84 total — and there are 20 female Senators. In both chambers, women are very disproportionately Democratic and in the House they make up more than three times as much of the Democratic caucus (62 members) than the Republican caucus (22 members). That said, the 114th Congress is 4/5th white and 4/5th male.

The Office of Federal Relations is excited to work report the ups, downs, turmoil, stagnation, energy and ennui which is Congress, and how that affects the University of Washington and our federal priorities.