A closed meeting of each party in the U.S. House of Representatives is called a party caucus or conference, during which representatives vote and debate policy and leadership decisions. The Democratic Party uses the term caucus, while the Republican Party uses the term conference. These private meetings allow representatives to discuss issues openly with one another and provide congressional organization for the members during each legislative session.Continue Reading
Within the caucus or conference, members decide House party leadership. Members take nominations and vote on party committee leaders, as well as on Housewide leadership if the party is in the majority. Individual committees within the caucus or conference help the party define policy goals for the legislative session. Members vote and assign representatives to particular party committees. Members work within those committees to bring legislation to a party vote for a wider base of support than a representative independently initiating legislation can muster. In addition, official party reactions to legislation and press statements are a result of deliberation and agreement in the caucus or conference.
Each caucus or conference has rules that dictate how the party votes for legislation on the floor. Representatives often know the outcome of a floor vote before it occurs due to this procedure.Learn more about Branches of Government
As of March 26, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives is controlled by a Republican majority. The Republicans control a total of 233 seats.Full Answer >
Notable members of the House of Representatives as of 2015 include the current leadership: Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Others include Budget Committee Leader Tom Price (R-GA) and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).Full Answer >
A quorum exists when a majority of the members are present, which is 218 members in the House of Representatives provided no vacancies exist, and 51 members in the Senate, which has 100 representatives. The size of a quorum depends on the size of the organization and is usually established in the founding documents of the organization.Full Answer >
There are 435 representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives. It also includes six nonvoting members: a resident commissioner from Puerto Rico and five delegates from the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands.Full Answer >