Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile

This report presents a profile of the membership of the 111th Congress. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age and length of service, occupation, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.

Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile Jennifer E. Manning Information Research Specialist December 27, 2010 Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov R40086 CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile Summary This report presents a profile of the membership of the 111th Congress. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of members, including data on party affiliation, average age and length of service, occupation, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service. Currently, in the House of Representatives, there are 261 Democrats (including five Delegates and the Resident Commissioner) and 180 Republicans. The Senate has 57 Democrats; two Independents, who caucus with the Democrats, and 41 Republicans. The average age of members of both houses of Congress at the beginning of the 111th Congress was 58.2 years; of members of the House, 57.2 years; and of Senators, 63.1 years. The overwhelming majority of members have a college education. The dominant professions of members are public service/politics, business, and law. Protestants collectively constitute the majority religious affiliation of members. Roman Catholics account for the largest single religious denomination, and numerous other affiliations are represented. The average length of service for Representatives at the beginning of the 111th Congress was 10.3 years (5.15 terms); for Senators 13.4 years ( 2.2 terms). A record number of 93 women serve in the 111th Congress: 76 in the House, 17 in the Senate. There are 41 African American members of the House and one in the Senate. This number includes two Delegates. There are 29 Hispanic or Latino members serving: 28 in the House, including the Resident Commissioner, and one in the Senate. Thirteen members (nine Representatives, two Delegates, and two Senators) are Asian or Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander. The only American Indian (Native American) serves in the House. Congressional Research Service Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile Contents Party Breakdown.........................................................................................................................1 Age.............................................................................................................................................1 Occupations ................................................................................................................................2 Education....................................................................................................................................3 Congressional Service.................................................................................................................4 Religion ......................................................................................................................................5 Gender and Ethnicity ..................................................................................................................5 Female Members...................................................................................................................5 African American Members ..................................................................................................5 Hispanic Members ................................................................................................................5 Asian Pacific Americans .......................................................................................................6 American Indians ..................................................................................................................6 Foreign Birth ..............................................................................................................................6 Military Service ..........................................................................................................................6 Contacts Author Contact Information ........................................................................................................7 Acknowledgments ......................................................................................................................7 Congressional Research Service Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile C ongress is composed of 541 individuals from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.1 This count assumes that no seat is temporarily vacant.2 The following is a profile of the 111th Congress. 3 Party Breakdown In the 111th Congress, the current party alignments are 261 Democrats in the House of Representatives (including five Delegates and the Resident Commissioner) and 180 Republicans. The Senate has 57 Democrats; two Independents, who caucus with the Democrats, and 41 Republicans. Age The average age of members of the 111th Congress is among the highest of any Congress in recent U.S. history. 4 The average age of Senators at the beginning of the 111th Congress was 63.1 years, approximately 1.5 years greater than that of the 110th Congress (61.7 years) and three years older than that of Senators in the 109th Congress (60.1 years). At the beginning of the 111th Congress, the average age of members of the House, including Delegates and the Resident Commissioner, was 57.2 years, over a year older than that of Representatives in the 110th Congress (55.9 years), and almost two years older than that of Representatives in the 109th Congress (55.1 years). The average age of all members in both houses is 58.2 years. At the beginning of the 111th Congress, the average age of new members of the House, including a Delegate and the Resident Commissioner, was 49.8 years. The average age of new Senators was 57.1 years. 1 This figure includes 100 Senators, 435 Representatives, five delegates (from the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands), and one Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico. The 111th Congress is the first one in which the Northern Mariana Islands have had a delegate. Note that since 1789, 11,909 individuals (not including Delegates and Resident Commissioners) have served in Congress: 9,991 only in the House, 1,268 only in the Senate, and 650 in both houses. 2 Currently, there are no House vacancies or Senate vacancies. For information on all special elections and appointments to fill vacancies in the 111th Congress, refer to http://crs.gov/resources/Pages/Congress_111.aspx. This site is updated when there is a death or resignation of a member of Congress as well as an appointment or election to fill a vacancy. 3 Information on the five Delegates and the Resident Commissioner is included where relevant. References to Representatives include information for the 435 members of the House, but not Delegates or the Resident Commissioner. For background information on earlier Congresses, refer to CRS Report RS22555, Membership of the 110th Congress: A Profile, by Mildred Amer, and CRS Report RS22007, Membership of the 109th Congress: A Profile, by Mildred Amer. See also CRS Report RL30378, African American Members of the United States Congress: 18702009, by Jennifer E. Manning and Colleen J. Shogan; CRS Report RL30261, Women in the United States Congress: 1917-2009, by Jennifer E. Manning, and Colleen J. Shogan; and CRS Report 97-398, Asian Pacific Americans in the United States Congress, by Lorraine H. Tong. 4 Complete CRS records on the ages of members of the House begin in 1907, the 60th Congress. Congressional Research Service 1 Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile The U.S. Constitution requires Representatives to be at least 25 years old when they take office. The youngest Representative, as well as youngest member of Congress, is Aaron Schock (R-IL), 29. The oldest Representative, as well as the oldest current member of Congress, is Ralph Hall (R-TX), 87. Senators must be at least 30 years old when they take office. The oldest Senator is Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), 86. The previous oldest Senator, as well as the oldest current member of Congress, was Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), who passed away on June 28, 2010, at age 92. The youngest Senator to serve in the 111th Congress was Carte P. Goodwin (D-WV), 36, who was temporarily appointed to fill the seat of Robert C. Byrd, and served from July 30, 2010, to November 15, 2010. Occupations According to CQ Today, in the 111th Congress, law is the dominant declared profession of Senators, followed by public service/politics; for Representatives, public service/politics is first, followed by business and law. 5 A closer look at the prior occupations of Senators and Representatives of the 111th Congress, as listed in their CQ.com Member Profiles, also shows6 • 16 medical doctors (including a psychiatrist), two dentists, three nurses, two veterinarians, four psychologists, an optometrist, a clinical dietician, and a pharmacist; • four ordained ministers; • 39 mayors, 14 state governors, 11 lieutenant governors (including two Delegates), one state first lady, and one territorial first lady; • one Cabinet secretary, one Secretary of the Navy, a vice admiral in the Navy, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, a Defense Department counterterrorism consultant, an ambassador, three state supreme court justices, and a federal judge; • 269 (229 in the House, including two Delegates, and 40 in the Senate) state or territorial legislators;7 • at least 114 congressional staffers (including 10 congressional pages), 8 12 White House staffers or fellows, and several executive branch employees; 5 “111th Congress: Statistically Speaking,” CQ Today, vol. 44, no. 138 (November 6, 2008), p. 72, supplemented by CRS. In the overwhelming majority of previous Congresses, business has followed law as the dominant occupation of members. However, at the beginning of the 111th Congress, 215 members (182 Representatives, 33 Senators) listed their occupation as public service/politics, 203 members (152 Representatives, 51 Senators) listed law, and 202 members (175 Representatives, 27 Senators) listed business. Ninety-four (78 Representatives and 16 Senators) listed education as a profession. Members often list more than one profession when surveyed by Congressional Quarterly, Inc. 6 “The New Senators and The New Representatives,” CQ Today, vol. 44, no. 13 (November 6, 2008), pp. 23-25, 27-37, 50-57, supplemented by CRS. The professions listed here are not necessarily the ones practiced by members immediately prior to entering Congress. 7 National Conference of State Legislators, “Former State Legislators in the 111th Congress” (as of April 15, 2010), http://www.ncsl.org/documents/statefed/fsl111.pdf, supplemented by CRS. 8 Michael L. Koempel and Judy Schneider, Congressional Deskbook, 5th ed. (Washington: TheCapital.Net, 2007), pp. 206-209, supplemented by CRS. Congressional Research Service 2 Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile • a parliamentary aide in the British House of Commons and a foreign service officer; • six Peace Corps volunteers; • four sheriffs, a deputy sheriff, four police officers (including a Capitol policeman), two state troopers, a probation officer, a volunteer fireman, an FBI agent, and a former border patrol chief; • three physicists, one chemist, six engineers including a biomedical engineer, and one microbiologist; • two radio talk show hosts, a radio/television broadcaster, a radio broadcaster, a radio newscaster, a television reporter, and a television commentator; • six accountants; • an astronaut, a naval aviator, the commander of an aircraft carrier battle group, an instructor at West Point, and a pilot of Marine One (the President’s helicopter); • two professional musicians, a semi-professional musician, a screenwriter, a comedian, a documentary film maker, a major league baseball player, and an NFL football player; • three organic farmers, four ranchers, two vintners, and a fruit orchard worker; • a driving instructor, a cosmetic sales woman, a mountain guide, and a ski instructor; • a casino dealer, a night watchman, and a prison guard; and • three carpenters, two bank tellers, several furniture salesmen, an ironworker, an auto worker, a clothing factory worker, a textile worker, an oil field worker, a mortician, a coroner, a teamster member/dairy worker, a paper mill worker, a cement plant worker, a shellfish specialist, a river boat captain, a taxicab driver, an auctioneer, a toll booth collector, and a hotel clerk. Education As has been true in recent Congresses, the vast majority of members (95%) of the 111th Congress hold university degrees.9 CRS research indicates that 27 members of the House and one Senator have no educational degree beyond a high school diploma. Five members of the House, but no Senators, have associate’s degrees as their highest degree, and one House member has an LPN (nursing) degree. Eighty-two members of the House and 17 Senators earned a master’s degree as their highest educational degree, and 169 members of the House and 57 Senators have a law degree. Of the members holding a law degree, five (three House members and two Senators) also hold an LLM (Master of Laws) degree. Twenty-three Representatives (but no Senators) have 9 The information in this section of the report includes the Delegates and the Resident Commissioner. For further information on the higher education background of each member, see the Scientists and Engineers of America website, “111th Congress Degrees,” at http://sharp.sefora.org/issues/111th-congress-degrees-by-type/. Congressional Research Service 3 Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile doctoral (PhD) degrees, and 17 members of the House and three Senators have a medical degree. 10 By comparison, 30 years ago in the 96th Congress (1979-1981), at least 48 members of the House and seven Senators had no degree beyond a high school diploma. Sixty-seven Representatives and 15 Senators had a master’s degree, 17 Representatives and four Senators had a doctoral (PhD) degree, and 197 members of the House and 60 Senators had a law degree.11 Five members of the House and one Senator had a medical degree. 12 Forty years ago, in the 91st Congress (1969-1971), at least 45 Representatives and nine Senators had no degree beyond a high school diploma. Thirty-seven Representatives and 14 Senators had a master’s degree, seven Representatives and two Senators had a doctoral (PhD) degree, 219 members of the House and 58 Senators had a law degree, and four Representatives had a medical degree. 13 In addition, three Representatives and one Senator in the 111th Congress are graduates of the U.S. Military Academy and two Senators and one Representative are graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy. Three Senators and two Representatives were Rhodes Scholars, three Representatives were Fulbright Scholars, one Representative was a Truman Scholar, and one Representative was a Marshall Scholar. Congressional Service The average length of service of members of the House at the beginning of the 111th Congress was 10.3 years (5.15 terms), slightly longer than that of the 110th Congress (10.0 years), and a year longer than the average service (9.3 years) in the 109th Congress.14 Representatives are elected for two-year terms. Representative John Dingell (D-MI), the dean of the House, has the longest service of any House member in history (54 years).15 He began serving on December 13, 1955. The average length of service of members of the Senate at the beginning of the 111th Congress was 13.4 years (2.2 terms), approximately seven months longer than that of the 110th Congress (12.8 years), and slightly more than a year longer than the average service (12.3 years) at the 10 Thirteen Representatives, two Senators, and one Delegate have an M.D. degree; two Representatives have a D.D.S. (doctor of dental surgery) degree; and one Senator and one Representative have a D.V.M. (doctor of veterinary medicine) degree. One Representative has an O.D. (doctor of optometry) degree, but is not included in the count of those with medical degrees. 11 CRS Report 89-92, Educational Degrees Attained By Members of Congress, 94th through 101st Congresses, by Mildred Amer. This report is available upon request. 12 This number includes one Senator with a veterinary medicine degree and one Representative with a dental degree. 13 Senator Thomas F. Eagleton, “Educational Background of Members of Congress,” remarks in the Senate, Congressional Record, vol. 117, part 36 (December 17, 1971), pp. 47696-47697. Senator Eagleton released a study done by educators George S. Reuter Jr. and Helen S. Reuter. 14 This service does not include Delegates or the Resident Commissioner. For additional information, refer to CRS Report R41545, Congressional Careers: Service Tenure and Patterns of Member Service, 1789-2010, by Matthew Eric Glassman, Erin Hemlin, and Amber Hope Wilhelm. . 15 CRS Report RL34581, Members Who Have Served in the U.S. Congress for 30 Years or More, by Mildred Amer and Clay H. Wellborn. Congressional Research Service 4 Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile beginning of the 109th Congress.16 Senators are elected for six-year terms.17 Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV), who died on June 28, 2010, served longer (51 years) than any other Senator in history. His service began on January 3, 1959.18 Religion Most members of the 111th Congress cite a specific religious affiliation.19 Protestants (Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and others) collectively constitute the majority religious affiliation of members. Roman Catholics, however, account for the largest single religious denomination. Other affiliations include Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Christian Scientist, Quaker, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon). There are also two Buddhists and two Muslims in the House. Gender and Ethnicity Female Members A record number of 93 women (17.2% of the total membership) serve in the 111th Congress. Seventy-six serve in the House and 17 in the Senate. Of the 76 women in the House, 59 are Democrats, including three Delegates, and 17 are Republicans. Of the 17 women serving in the Senate, 13 are Democrats and four are Republicans. 20 African American Members There are 42 African American members (7.8% of the total membership) in the 111th Congress, 41 serving in the House21 and one in the Senate. All are Democrats, including two Delegates. Fourteen African American women, including two Delegates, serve in the House. Hispanic Members There are 29 Hispanic or Latino members of the 111th Congress; 5.4% of the total membership. 22 Twenty-eight serve in the House and one in the Senate. Of the members of the House, 24 are 16 CRS Report R41545, Congressional Careers: Service Tenure and Patterns of Member Service, 1789-2010, by Matthew Eric Glassman, Erin Hemlin, and Amber Hope Wilhelm. 17 Note that 48 Senators in the 111th Congress have previously served in the House. 18 Senator Byrd, who previously served in the House, had the longest total service in Congress (57 years) of any member in history. 19 “Religions in the 111th,” CQ Today, vol. 44, no. 38 (November 6, 2008), p. 73. For more information on the religious affiliations of current members, see the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life website, “Faith on the Hill: the Religious Affiliations of Members of Congress,” at http://pewforum.org/docs/?DocID=379. 20 Another woman, Hillary Clinton (D-NY), left the Senate in the 111th Congress to serve as U.S. Secretary of State. 21 This number includes one member of the House who is of African American and Asian ancestry. 22 This number includes three members of the House who are of Portuguese ancestry and belong to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus or the Congressional Hispanic Conference. Congressional Research Service 5 Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile Democrats (including two Delegates23), four are Republicans, and six are women.24 There is one Democrat male Hispanic Senator.25 One set of Hispanic members are brothers, and one set are sisters. Mario and Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Republicans from Florida, serve in the House.26 Linda Sánchez and Loretta Sanchez, 27 Democrats from California, serve in the House.28 Asian Pacific Americans A record 13 members of the 111th Congress (3% of the total membership) are of Asian or Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander ancestry. Eleven (eight Democrats, three Republicans) serve in the House; two (both Democrats) serve in the Senate. Of those serving in the House, two are Delegates. These numbers include one House member with African American ancestry, and another with Hispanic ancestry. The 111th Congress is the first to include a Vietnamese American member, as well as a member with Thai heritage. American Indians There is one American Indian (Native American) member of the 111th Congress, who is a Republican member of the House. Foreign Birth Twelve Representatives and one Senator were born outside the United States. Their places of birth include Cuba, Mexico, Taiwan, India, Japan, Pakistan, Peru, Canada, Vietnam, and the Netherlands.29 Military Service In the 111th Congress there are 120 members who have served in the military, six fewer than in the 110th Congress.30 The House has 95 veterans (including one Delegate); the Senate 25. These 23 This number includes one Delegate who is of Hispanic and Asian ancestry. Another Hispanic woman, Representative Hilda Solis (D-CA), was reelected to the 111th Congress but resigned to become U.S. Secretary of Labor. 25 Another Hispanic man, Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL), resigned from the Senate effective Sept. 9, 2009. 26 Another set of Hispanic brothers, Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Representative John Salazar (D-CO), served together at the beginning of the 111th Congress. However, Senator Salazar left Congress to become Secretary of the Interior. 27 Note that Linda Sánchez uses an accent in her last name; her sister Loretta does not. 24 28 Note that brothers Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and Representative Sander Levin (D-MI) also serve in the 111th Congress, and Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) served with his father, Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), until the Senator’s death on August 25, 2009. 29 “Born Abroad,” CQ Today, vol. 43, no. 175 (October 30, 2007), p. 9, supplemented by CRS. 30 Congressional Quarterly Inc., http://www.cq.com/flatfiles/editorialFiles/memberFactFiles/demographics_111.html, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, http://veterans.house.gov/links/vetsincongress.shtml, and the Military (continued...) Congressional Research Service 6 Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile members served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kosovo, as well as during times of peace. Some have served in the Reserves and the National Guard. Several members, in both the House and the Senate, are still serving as Reservists. As noted above, one Senator is a former Secretary of the Navy. The number of veterans in the 111th Congress reflects the trend of a steady decline in the number of members who have served in the military. For example, there were 298 veterans (240 Representatives, 58 Senators) in the 96th Congress (1979-1981); and 398 veterans (329 Representatives, 69 Senators) in the 91st Congress (1969-1971). Author Contact Information Jennifer E. Manning Information Research Specialist jmanning@crs.loc.gov, 7-7565 Acknowledgments This report was originally coauthored by Mildred Amer, formerly a specialist in American National Government at CRS. Matthew Glassman, Julius Jefferson, Erin Hemlin, and Lorraine Tong provided assistance. (...continued) Officers Association of America, unpublished data supplied to CRS. Congressional Research Service 7