(1849 to Present)
The House Democratic Caucus Chairman presides
over caucus meetings, which are composed of all members
of the Democratic party. The chair is elected by the caucus,
and is limited to two consecutive full terms. A list of House
Democratic Chairman from 1849 to present is presented below.
The House Democratic Caucus
serves as the organizational forum to elect party leaders
at the outset of each new Congress. The caucus meets on
a weekly basis to discuss party policy, pending legislative
issues, and other matters of mutual concern. Further information
on the caucus' current activities is available on
House Democratic Caucus web site.
Years of Service|
|33rd||Edson B. Olds
|34th||George W. Jones
|36th||George S. Houston
|41st||William E. Niblack
|41st||Samuel J. Randall
|43rd||William E. Niblack
|44th||Lucius Q.C. Lamar
|46th||John F. House
|48th||George W. Geddes
|49th||J. Randolph Tucker
|50th||Samuel S. Cox
|51st-53rd||William S. Holman
|54th||David B. Culberson
|55th||James D. Richardson
|59th||Robert L. Henry
|60th-61st||Henry D. Clayton
|62nd||Albert S. Burleson
|63rd||A. Mitchell Palmer
|64th-65th||Edward W. Saunders
|66th||Arthur G. DeWalt
|68th||Henry T. Rainey
|69th||Charles D. Carter
|70th||Arthur H. Greenwood
|71st||David H. Kincheloe
|72nd||William W. Arnold
|73rd||Clarence F. Lea
|74th||Edward T. Taylor
|75th||Robert L. Doughton
|76th||John W. McCormack
|77th||Richard M. Duncan
|78th||Harry R. Sheppard
|80th||Aime J. Forand
|81st||Francis E. Walter
|83rd||Wilbur D. Mills
|84th||John J. Rooney
|87th-88th||Francis E. Walter
|95th-96th||Thomas S. Foley
|97th-98th||Gillis W. Long
|99th-100th||Richard A. Gephardt
|101st||William (Bill) H. Gray III
|101st-103rd||Steny H. Hoyer
No clear records remain for this Congress. Several Democratic Members
offered the various organizing resolutions at the beginning of the Congress.
No clear data for this period exist.
No clear data for this period exist. Representative Hickman of Pennsylvania
nominated Representative F.P. Blair as Speaker in 1861, but no records show
whether Hickman was caucus chair.
Caucus records show Representative Niblack and Representative Randall
as both having served as chairman during the Congress, but no dates of service
Representative Fernando Wood of New York nominated the Democratic leadership
slate in the House, but there is no other evidence to show he was elected
Available data show that Representative John F. House nominated Samuel J. Randall
as the Democratic candidate for Speaker, the traditional role of the caucus
chairman. Later data show W.S. Rosecrans issuing the next call for a Democratic
Caucus meeting, but there is no evidence to suggest that Rosecrans was actually
elected caucus chairman.
Former Parliamentarian Clarence Cannon's notes state "Cox died during this
Congress and [Representative James B.] McCreary evidently succeeded or acted
for him." However, Representative Cox died on September 10, 1889, six months
after the sine die adjournment of the 50th Congress and the convening of the
Caucus records are contradictory for this period. They show the election
of Representative James Hay as chairman on January 19, 1911, but do not
mention a resignation by incumbent chairman Clayton, nor do they specify
that Hay was elected chairman for the new Congress. Later, they show
the election of Representative Burleson on April 11, 1911.
Resigned from the House, October 5, 1930; there is no record of an election
to fill the vacancy as caucus chair.
Resigned following election as majority floor leader, September 16, 1940;
records do not indicate that a successor was chosen during the remainder of
Died in office, May 31, 1963. Caucus chairman post vacant until
January 21, 1964.
Representative Gray was elected Democratic Whip on June 14, 1989.
Representative Hoyer was elected Caucus Chairman on June 21, 1989, following the
June 14, 1989, election of Representative William (Bill) H. Gray III as Majority Whip.
14 On January 16, 2006, Representative Menendez resigned from the House after he was appointed to the Senate.
15 Representative Clyburn was selected Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus on December 16, 2005, effective January 18, 2006.
Source: Congressional Research Service
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