What's in the House Chamber?

Fast Facts

Desk Assignments in the House Chamber

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Historical Highlight

The well on the floor of the House Chamber./tiles/non-collection/h/hc_floor_well_ocomm.xml Image courtesy of the Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives The well on the floor of the House Chamber. Members address the House from microphones at any table or “the well,” the area immediately in front of the rostrum.
Vital democratic processes and a rich heritage resound in the House Chamber. Legislative activities in the U.S. House of Representatives begin and end in this room. Every bill is introduced here, and those reported out of committee return to be debated and voted upon. Here the President delivers the State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress. The House Chamber also serves as the scene of some of the most dramatic legislative events in American history—as Representatives craft laws and decide questions of war and peace.

Unlike the Members of the Senate, Members of the House have no assigned seats but are by tradition divided by party; Members of the Democratic Party sit to the Speaker's right and Members of the Republican Party sit to his left.

Among the 446 permanent seats on the House Floor are four tables, or two on each side. These tables are occupied by Members of the Committee that have brought a bill to the floor for consideration and by the respective party leadership.

Members address the House from microphones at any table or "the well," the area immediately in front of the rostrum.