97th United States Congress

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97th United States Congress
96th ←
→ 98th

January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1983
Members100 senators
435 representatives
5 non-voting delegates
Senate majorityRepublican
Senate PresidentWalter Mondale (D)[a]
(until January 20, 1981)
George H. W. Bush (R)
(from January 20, 1981)
House majorityDemocratic
House SpeakerTip O'Neill (D)
1st: January 5, 1981 – December 16, 1981
2nd: January 25, 1982 – December 23, 1982

The 97th United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C., from January 3, 1981, to January 3, 1983, during the final weeks of Jimmy Carter's presidency and the first two years of Ronald Reagan's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the 1970 United States census.

While the House of Representatives retained a Democratic majority (albeit reduced from the 96th Congress), the Republicans gained control of the Senate, marking the first time that they had control of either chamber of Congress since the 83rd Congress in 1953.

Major events[edit]

Major legislation[edit]

Special or select committees[edit]

  • Senate Select Committee on Small Business — Became a standing committee on March 25, 1981
  • United States Senate Select Committee on Law Enforcement Undercover Activities of the Justice Department — March 24, 1982 – December 15, 1982

Party summary[edit]


Party standings on the opening day of the 97th Congress
  46 Democratic Senators
  1 Independent Senator, caucusing with Democrats
  53 Republican Senators
(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of previous congress 55 1 44 100 0
Begin 46 1 53 100 0
Final voting share 46.0% 1.0% 53.0%
Beginning of next congress 46 0 54 100 0

House of Representatives[edit]

House seats by party holding plurality in state
  80+% Democratic
  80+% Republican
  60+% to 80% Democratic
  60+% to 80% Republican
  50+% to 60% Democratic
  50+% to 60% Republican
  (Striped): even split
(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of previous congress 272 158 1 431 4
Begin 243 191 1 435 0
End 242 4341
Final voting share 55.8% 44.0% 0.2%
Beginning of next congress 269 164 1 434 1



Senate President
VP Walter Mondale
Walter Mondale (D),
until January 20, 1981
VP George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush (R),
from January 20, 1981

Majority (Republican) leadership[edit]

Minority (Democratic) leadership[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

House Speaker

Majority (Democratic) leadership[edit]

Minority (Republican) leadership[edit]



This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed by class, and representatives are listed by district.


Senators are popularly elected statewide every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress, In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1982; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1984; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1986.

House of Representatives[edit]

Members of the House of Representatives are listed by their district numbers.

Changes in membership[edit]


There were 2 resignations.

Senate changes
Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[c]
New Jersey
(Class 1)
Harrison A. Williams
Incumbent resigned March 11, 1982, before a planned expulsion vote, having been convicted of bribery in the Abscam sting operation.
A successor was appointed April 12, 1982, to finish the term.
Nicholas F. Brady
April 12, 1982
New Jersey
(Class 1)
Nicholas F. Brady
Incumbent resigned December 27, 1982, so his elected successor could be appointed for preferential seniority.
A successor was appointed December 27, 1982, to finish the term.
Frank Lautenberg
December 27, 1982

House of Representatives[edit]

There were 4 deaths, 4 resignations, one declared vacancy, and one party change.

House changes
District Vacated by Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[c]
Michigan 4th David Stockman (R) Resigned January 27, 1981, after being appointed Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mark D. Siljander (R) April 21, 1981
Maryland 5th Gladys Spellman (D) Incapacitated since last Congress and seat declared vacant February 24, 1981 Steny Hoyer (D) May 19, 1981
Ohio 4th Tennyson Guyer (R) Died April 12, 1981 Mike Oxley (R) June 25, 1981
Mississippi 4th Jon Hinson (R) Resigned April 13, 1981 Wayne Dowdy (D) July 7, 1981
Pennsylvania 3rd Raymond Lederer (D) Resigned April 29, 1981, before a planned expulsion vote, having been convicted of bribery in the Abscam sting operation Joseph F. Smith (D) July 21, 1981
Connecticut 1st William R. Cotter (D) Died September 8, 1981 Barbara B. Kennelly (D) January 12, 1982
Pennsylvania 25th Eugene Atkinson (D) Changed parties October 14, 1981 Eugene Atkinson (R) October 14, 1981
California 30th George E. Danielson (D) Resigned March 9, 1982, after being appointed associate justice of the California Courts of Appeal Matthew G. Martínez (D) July 13, 1982
Ohio 17th John M. Ashbrook (R) Died April 24, 1982 Jean Spencer Ashbrook (R) June 29, 1982
New York 14th Fred Richmond (D) Resigned August 25, 1982 Vacant until end of Congress
Indiana 1st Adam Benjamin Jr. (D) Died September 7, 1982 Katie Hall (D) November 2, 1982


Lists of committees and their party leaders for members of the House and Senate committees can be found through the Official Congressional Directory at the bottom of this article. The directory after the pages of terms of service lists committees of the Senate, House (Standing with Subcommittees, Select and Special) and Joint and, after that, House/Senate committee assignments. On the committees section of the House and Senate in the Official Congressional Directory, the committee's members on the first row on the left side shows the chairman of the committee and on the right side shows the ranking member of the committee.


House of Representatives[edit]

Joint committees[edit]


Legislative branch agency directors[edit]


House of Representatives[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale's term as President of the Senate ended at noon on January 20, 1981, when George H. W. Bush's term began.
  2. ^ Caucused with the Republicans.
  3. ^ a b When seated or oath administered, not necessarily when service began.


  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

External links[edit]