On the House Floor

On the Floor

The Floor of the House of Representatives is where Representatives and Delegates assemble to discuss pending bills and resolutions introduced by Members of Congress. It is a place that contains a wealth of history, symbolic of over two centuries of representative democracy in America. When Representatives meet on the House floor for official business, it is said that they are "on the floor." When speaking before the House (and of course, the American people), Members are said to "have the floor" to voice the opinions of the constituents they represent.

Interesting Facts about the House Floor

  • When the House conducts a recorded vote, Representatives vote with a small voting card about the size of a credit card. On occasion, the Clerk of the House conducts a manual roll call vote, where Members of Congress go up to the Clerk (and his or her Deputies) and cast their vote for the record.
  • The record for the most number of votes cast without missing one is held by Representative William Natcher of Kentucky, who served the House from 1953 to 1994. He cast 18,401 votes over 22 years without missing a single one!
  • The Mace of the United States House of Representatives officially symbolizes the House being in session. It is placed on a pedestal to the right of the Speaker of the House. The current mace has been in use since 1842.
  • In the second session of the 110th Congress, the House was in session for a total of 890 hours and 29 minutes. There were 3,225 measures introduced - 2,410 bills, 26 joint resolutions, 165 concurrent resolutions, and 624 "simple resolutions" (House resolutions).