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97th Congress (1981–1983)

Congressional Profile

Total Membership:

  • 435 Representatives
  • 4 Delegates
  • 1 Resident Commissioner

Party Divisions:*

  • 243 Democrats
  • 192 Republicans

*Party division totals are based on election day results.

  • Election Statistics, 1980 [PDF]

Congress Overview

Republicans swept into the White House and took over the Senate after the 1980 elections. Democrats maintained a diminished House majority. President Ronald Reagan survived an assassination attempt and Congress quickly passed a series of tax and domestic spending cuts, deregulated certain industries, and added defense spending during the first session of the 97th Congress (1981–1983). But the resulting budget deficit led Congress to increase taxes and reduce the gap between spending and revenues during its second session.

Historical Highlights


See more Historical Highlights.

Member Information

  • Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, (1774–2005), Official Annotated Membership Roster by State with Vacancy and Special Election Information for the 97th Congress [PDF]
  • Learn more about the House of Representatives with an interactive map

Learn more about the People of the People's House

Leadership & Officers

Speaker of the House:
Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. (D–Massachusetts)
Majority Leader:
James C. Wright, Jr (D–Texas)
Minority Leader:
Robert H. Michel (R–Illinois)
Democratic Whip:
Thomas S. Foley (D–Washington)
Republican Whip:
Trent Lott (R–Mississippi)
Democratic Caucus Chairman:
Gillis W. Long (D–Louisiana)
Republican Conference Chairman:
Jack Kemp (R–New York)
Clerk of the House:
Edmund L. Henshaw, Jr.
Sergeant at Arms:
Benjamin J. Guthrie
Chaplain of the House:
James D. Ford – Lutheran
James T. Molloy
Robert V. Rota
William Holmes Brown

To view complete lists of individuals who have served in these leadership and official positions since the 1st Congress, visit the People section

Legislative Activities

Legislation of the 97th Congress (
Bill Summary & Status for the 97th Congress
Résumés of Congressional Activity:
Résumés of Congressional Activity for the 97th Congress
Public Laws (
Public Laws 97th Congress
House and Senate Days-In-Session Calendars (
Days-in-Session Calendars for the 97th Congress