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Meet the Clerk
Official Duties
The Clerk Today
Learn About Congress
How Laws are Made
Time Traveler
Field Trip!
Meet the ClerkHouse seal graphic

Who is the Clerk?
The Clerk is an officer in the U.S.House of Representatives and the chief legislative official. As the chief legislative official means that the Clerk is in charge of supervising important administrative business of the House of Representatives. For example, the Clerk keeps track of all the votes taken on the House Floor, which are called roll call votes. The Clerk also organizes the House at the beginning of each new Congress, oversees the operation of the House Floor, and maintains its official records.

The Clerk serves a two-year term and is elected along with other House Officers at the beginning of each new Congress, as outlined in the Constitution, Article I, Section 2;
"The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers..."

On April 1, 1789, John Beckley from Virginia was elected the first Clerk, after the election of the House Speaker. At that time, there were only nine states in the Union!  

The Clerk's title and duties originated in the British House of Commons. Australia, Canada, Jamaica, and Nigeria also have Clerks to maintain records and oversee legislative activities in their Houses of Representatives. There may even be a Clerk in your own state legislature!

Challenge Question icon  
Challenge Question
Why would the House of Representatives be similar to the British House of Commons?
Did you figure it out?


Parents & Teachers
Tools for Learning

Did You Know?
A Little Known Fact
The Clerk is in charge of the display of fine arts in the House and House wing of the Capitol! Learn more in Time Warp: Art.

Check This Out!
Take a Trip!
Find your state statue! Go on a Field Trip to Statuary Hall.

Glossary Terms
Key Words
Use the glossary to learn key terms.

Joint Resolution
Roll Call

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Office of the Clerk - U.S. Capitol, Room H154
Washington, DC 20515-6601 - (202) 225-1908

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