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.
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
The term length for the U.S. House of Representatives is two years, with elections held every even year. The House has a representative for every congressional district in the United States. Each district represents about 700,000 people.Full Answer >
The Senate is called a continuous body because the reelection of members is timed so that no more than one-third of the members change in an election period. In other words, the Senate is broken up into three equal groups, and only one-third of the senate faces reelection every two years. All members of the senate are elected to six-year terms.Full Answer >
There are 435 members in the United States House of Representatives and each of these members represents approximately 710,000 people, as noted by Indiana University's The Center on Congress. California has the most representatives with 53 members, Texas is second with 36 members and New York and Florida are third with 27 members.Full Answer >
The majority party of the House of Representatives in the United States is the Republican party, as of December 2014. The Republican Majority Leader is Representative Kevin McCarthy.Full Answer >