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Congressional Terms

A term of Congress begins on January 3 of odd years - following November elections which take place in even years. This is specified in the 20th Amendment of the Constitution.

The 20th Amendment allows Congress to change that date.

Congressional terms are numbered starting from the time the Constitution was enacted. The 114th Congress began on Jan 6, 2015, because the 113th Congress changed the date.

Each term is divided into two annual sessions.

Who controls a Congress?

The party with with the most number of members (or which can create a majority by including independents) can elect a member of that party as Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader. It also can name members of that party as committee chairs.

In this chart, the colors (Blue = Democratic, Red = Republican) of the House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader indicate which party controlled that house during that term.

Congress Years House Speaker Senate Majority Leader
117 (Biden)2021 - 2022Nancy PelosiCharles E. Schumer
116 (Trump)2019 - 2020Nancy PelosiMitch McConnell
115 (Trump)2017 - 2018Paul RyanMitch McConnell
114 (Obama)2015 - 2016Paul RyanMitch McConnell
113 (Obama)2013 - 2014John A. BoehnerHarry Reid
112 (Obama)2011 - 2012John A. BoehnerHarry Reid
111 (Obama)2009 - 2010Nancy PelosiHarry Reid
110 (Bush)2007 - 2008Nancy PelosiHarry Reid
109 (Bush)2005 - 2006J. Dennis HastertWilliam Frist
108 (Bush)2003 - 2004J. Dennis HastertWilliam Frist
107 (Bush)2001 - 2002J. Dennis HastertThomas Daschle
106 (Clinton)1999 - 2000J. Dennis HastertTrent Lott
105 (Clinton)1997 - 1998Newton Leroy (Newt) GingrichTrent Lott
104 (Clinton)1995 - 1996Newton Leroy (Newt) GingrichRobert Dole
103 (Clinton)1993 - 1994Thomas FoleyGeorge Mitchell
102 (Bush)1991 - 1992Thomas FoleyGeorge Mitchell
101 (Bush)1989 - 1990Thomas FoleyGeorge Mitchell
100 (Reagan)1987 - 1988James, Jr. WrightRobert Byrd
99 (Reagan)1985 - 1986Thomas P. (Tip), Jr O'NeillRobert Dole
98 (Reagan)1983 - 1984Thomas P. (Tip), Jr O'NeillHoward, Jr Baker
97 (Reagan)1981 - 1982Thomas P. (Tip), Jr O'NeillHoward, Jr Baker
96 (Carter)1979 - 1980Thomas P. (Tip), Jr O'NeillRobert Byrd
95 (Carter)1977 - 1978Thomas P. (Tip), Jr O'NeillRobert Byrd
94 (Ford)1975 - 1976Carl AlbertMike Mansfield
93 (Nixon)1973 - 1974Carl AlbertMike Mansfield
92 (Nixon)1971 - 1972Carl AlbertMike Mansfield
91 (Nixon)1969 - 1970John W. McCormackMike Mansfield
90 (Johnson)1967 - 1968John W. McCormackMike Mansfield
89 (Johnson)1965 - 1966John W. McCormackMike Mansfield
88 (Johnson)1963 - 1964John W. McCormackMike Mansfield
87 (Kennedy)1961 - 1962John W. McCormackMike Mansfield
86 (Eisenhower)1959 - 1960Sam RayburnLyndon B. Johnson
85 (Eisenhower)1957 - 1958Sam RayburnLyndon B. Johnson
84 (Eisenhower)1955 - 1956Sam RayburnLyndon B. Johnson

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