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Congress: The 114th Congress

Updated on May 3, 2015

How representative and effective can the 114th Congress be?

My grandfather told of a farmer who said:  "Figures don't lie, but liars sure can figure!"
My grandfather told of a farmer who said: "Figures don't lie, but liars sure can figure!" | Source

Profile of the 114th Congress

While America is a nation of women (51%). they are only 20% of the Senate.

In the House of Representatives, women are only 18% of the House.

As for Asian-Americans there is only 1 in the Senate (1%), African-Americans are only 2% of the Senate, while Hispanics are 3%. There are no Native Americans in the Senate, and only 2 in the House.

There are 10 Asian-Americans in the House which has 44 African-Americans, and 34 Hispanics.

Republicans in the House: 246. Democrats in the House: 188. (One formerly Republican seat from New York is presently open and waiting to be filled.)

Republicans in the Senate: 54. Democrats in the Senate: 44. Independents: 2

The number of votes required to override a Presidential veto is two-thirds of the votes cast in the Senate, and two-thirds of the votes cast in the House. Thus, if every member of Congress votes, to override a presidential veto would require 67 votes to override in the Senate, as well as 290 votes to override in the House.

If Senators and Representatives voted based just on party affiliation, they cannot override any presidential veto of bills reaching the president's desk from the 114th Congress.

Knowing the "players" without a program....

The 114th Congress arrived in Washington, DC with only one empty seat. It is vacant because a House member resigned after pleading guilty to tax evasion.

The rest of the seats are filled with some minor changes compared to the 113th "Do Nothing Congress". With resignations and defeats of members of the 113th Congress, the 114th has four more female representatives, including the youngest ever elected to a seat in the House, and the first African-American Republican female ever elected.

61 new members of the House were sworn in after the November elections. Of those, 44 are Republicans and 17 are Democrats.

New Senators in the 114th Congress include 12 new Republican senators and one new senator who is a Democrat.

In the process of integrating these new members of Congress, some shuffling of committee assignments and changes in committee chairmanships have taken place.

While there are new faces, and new majorities, party philosophies are little changed, even with the influence of Tea Party advocates among the Republicans in Congress. The influence of the elections ahead in 2016 will have a major influence on political posturing as November 2016 draws closer.

Most members of Congress are Caucasian, well-to-do (if not just downright wealthy) males. Women and minorities are poorly represented as compared to their percentages of the population in the USA, and new representatives and senators normally have little political influence unless their votes become critical in passing a given piece of legislation or for overriding a presidential veto.

By comparison to the most complicated card games, the rules of the House and the rules of the Senate are more complex and difficult to master. New senators and representatives will hit the Washington treadmill running but find it hard to make any major impact on what is a notorious "old boys club."

Regardless, we do well to wish them well, our very lives may depend on their wisdom and their efforts to provide the added leadership the USA needs.

"We do well to wish them well.... ."



© 2015 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.


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    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Congress is back in session with many of the same national problems still facing them while they will spend several weeks discussing the Iran Agreement.

      Will taxes, immigration, the budget, the limit on the national debt, abortion, military preparedness, protection of personal privacy, and ongoing problems left behind by the 113th Congress, even be addressed much less fully dealt with?

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      MsDora - You and I will get a better idea of what any confrontations may look like....after we listen to President Obama's 2015 State of the Union Speech to the combined session of the Congress. Listen on January 20th for what he is offering, what he is promising, and what he is cautioning.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for the figures. We'll have to wait for the answer to your first question. So I'll go ahead and wish them well.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Thanks for stopping by to read this Hub on the 114th Congress. If nothing else, it will not and cannot legislate simply as the "politics as usual" of the past 113th Congress which had one body controlled by the Democrats and the other controlled by the Republicans.

      The new power divide is between a more united Congress and a lame duck president's veto pen coupled with his executive orders pen.

      If nothing else it will be interesting, as the separation of powers continues to play out in its latest form.