How Many Members are in the House of Representatives

July 1, 2013

When it comes to instituting bills into law in the United States, there is a lengthy process that involves the bill being started in and passing through the House of Representatives, Senate and then to the White House where the president would sign the bill into law or veto the bill. When it comes to the House of Representatives, how many members are currently working in Washington, where did that number of people come from, and how it is determined the number that each state receives?

How many current members?

In the House of Representatives, there are 435 members that decide what bills and resolutions are brought up into discussion to become laws, make amendments to bills and to serve on committees. When elected, these individuals spread across the 50 states serve two-year terms before going back for re-election. Aside from the full-fledged members in the House that have the right to vote, there is a single delegate from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, District of Columbia, American Samoa and the Virgin Islands and a single resident commissioner from Puerto Rico that all have the same powers as members of the House. The only thing delegates and the resident commissioners can’t do is vote for a bill.

How number was decided?

Four hundred thirty five was the number determined to be the one needed in 1911 under Public Law 62-5. The number went into full effect in 1913 and has been used ever since.

What determines how many representatives each state receives?

When it comes to determining which state receives what number of representatives to total 435, it all comes down to the population of the state. In many cases, these totals increase and decrease by several positions throughout the years depending on the number of people moving in and out of certain locations.

Each state is entitled to at least one representative in the House and presently, there are seven states that have that number (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming). On the other side of that, California – the most populous state in the United States – has the most number of representatives with 53, followed by Texas with 36, New York and Florida with 27.

Requirements of being member of House of Representatives

To become a member of the House, a person needs to be at least 25-years-old. The person running for office also needs to be a United States citizen, whether at birth or through naturalization for at least seven years and needs to be an inhabitant in that state they are trying to represent. This is to prevent a person from New Mexico from trying to become a member of the House in Arizona and also to ensure that the person representing a district knows what is important to the people that reside in those towns they are being asked to speak for.

Committee’s in House of Representatives

The 435 members of the House have the chance to be included in any of the 20 standing committees that have different jurisdictions legislatively speaking. These committees have oversight responsibilities that require them to monitor programs, activities and agencies within their jurisdiction. The way the number of members for each committee is determine is by looking at the ratio of democrats to republicans in the House. If the house is 60 percent republican, for every four democrats on a committee in the House, there will be six republicans.

Category: Offices

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