Democratic Caucus Chairmen (1849 to present)
The House Democratic Caucus Chairman presides over caucus meetings, which are composed of all members of the Democratic party. The chair is elected by the caucus, and is limited to two consecutive full terms. A list of House Democratic Chairmen from 1849 to present is presented below.
The House Democratic Caucus serves as the organizational forum to elect party leaders at the outset of each new Congress. The caucus meets on a weekly basis to discuss party policy, pending legislative issues, and other matters of mutual concern. Further information on the caucus' current activities is available on the House Democratic Caucus Web site.
There is no clear data on Democratic Caucus Chairmen for the 32nd, 35th, 37th-40th, 42nd, and 47th Congresses.
|Congress and Years||Name||State or Territory|
|31st (1849–1851)||THOMPSON, James||PA|
|33rd (1853–1855)||OLDS, Edson Baldwin||OH|
|34th (1855–1857)||JONES, George Washington||TN|
|36th (1859–1861)||HOUSTON, George Smith||AL|
|41st (1869–1871)||NIBLACK, William Ellis 1||IN|
|41st (1869–1871)||RANDALL, Samuel Jackson||PA|
|43rd (1873–1875)||NIBLACK, William Ellis||IN|
|44th (1875–1877)||LAMAR, Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus||MS|
|45th (1877–1879)||CLYMER, Hiester||PA|
|46th (1879–1881)||HOUSE, John Ford||TN|
|48th (1883–1885)||GEDDES, George Washington||OH|
|49th (1885–1887)||TUCKER, John Randolph||VA|
|50th (1887–1889)||COX, Samuel Sullivan 2||NY|
|51st (1889–1891)||HOLMAN, William Steele||IN|
|52nd (1891–1893)||HOLMAN, William Steele||IN|
|53rd (1893–1895)||HOLMAN, William Steele||IN|
|54th (1895–1897)||CULBERSON, David Browning||TX|
|55th (1897–1899)||RICHARDSON, James Daniel||TN|
|56th (1899–1901)||HAY, James||VA|
|57th (1901–1903)||HAY, James||VA|
|58th (1903–1905)||HAY, James||VA|
|59th (1905–1907)||HENRY, Robert Lee||TX|
|60th (1907–1909)||CLAYTON, Henry De Lamar||AL|
|61st (1909–1911)||CLAYTON, Henry De Lamar 3||AL|
|62nd (1911–1913)||BURLESON, Albert Sidney 4||TX|
|63rd (1913–1915)||PALMER, Alexander Mitchell||PA|
|64th (1915–1917)||SAUNDERS, Edward Watts||VA|
|65th (1917–1919)||SAUNDERS, Edward Watts||VA|
|66th (1919–1921)||DEWALT, Arthur Granville||PA|
|67th (1921–1923)||RAYBURN, Samuel Taliaferro||TX|
|68th (1923–1925)||RAINEY, Henry Thomas||IL|
|69th (1925–1927)||CARTER, Charles David||OK|
|70th (1927–1929)||GREENWOOD, Arthur Herbert||IN|
|71st (1929–1931)||KINCHELOE, David Hayes 5||KY|
|72nd (1931–1933)||ARNOLD, William Wright||IL|
|73rd (1933–1935)||LEA, Clarence Frederick||CA|
|74th (1935–1937)||TAYLOR, Edward Thomas||CO|
|75th (1937–1939)||DOUGHTON, Robert Lee||NC|
|76th (1939–1941)||MCCORMACK, John William 6||MA|
|77th (1941–1943)||DUNCAN, Richard Meloan||MO|
|78th (1943–1945)||SHEPPARD, Harry Richard||CA|
|79th (1945–1947)||COOPER, Jere||TN|
|80th (1947–1949)||FORAND, Aime Joseph||RI|
|81st (1949–1951)||WALTER, Francis Eugene||PA|
|82nd (1951–1953)||COOPER, Jere||TN|
|83rd (1953–1955)||MILLS, Wilbur Daigh||AR|
|84th (1955–1957)||ROONEY, John James||NY|
|85th (1957–1959)||PRICE, Charles Melvin||IL|
|86th (1959–1961)||PRICE, Charles Melvin||IL|
|87th (1961–1963)||WALTER, Francis Eugene||PA|
|88th (1963–1965)||WALTER, Francis Eugene 7||PA|
|88th (1963–1965)||THOMAS, Albert 8||TX|
|89th (1965–1967)||KEOGH, Eugene James||NY|
|90th (1967–1969)||ROSTENKOWSKI, Daniel David||IL|
|91st (1969–1971)||ROSTENKOWSKI, Daniel David||IL|
|92nd (1971–1973)||TEAGUE, Olin Earl||TX|
|93rd (1973–1975)||TEAGUE, Olin Earl||TX|
|94th (1975–1977)||BURTON, Phillip||CA|
|95th (1977–1979)||FOLEY, Thomas Stephen||WA|
|96th (1979–1981)||FOLEY, Thomas Stephen||WA|
|97th (1981–1983)||LONG, Gillis William||LA|
|98th (1983–1985)||LONG, Gillis William||LA|
|99th (1985–1987)||GEPHARDT, Richard Andrew||MO|
|100th (1987–1989)||GEPHARDT, Richard Andrew||MO|
|101st (1989–1991)||GRAY, William Herbert, III 9||PA|
|101st (1989–1991)||HOYER, Steny Hamilton 10||MD|
|102nd (1991–1993)||HOYER, Steny Hamilton||MD|
|103rd (1993–1995)||HOYER, Steny Hamilton||MD|
|104th (1995–1997)||FAZIO, Victor Herbert, Jr.||CA|
|105th (1997–1999)||FAZIO, Victor Herbert, Jr.||CA|
|106th (1999–2001)||FROST, Jonas Martin||TX|
|107th (2001–2003)||FROST, Jonas Martin||TX|
|108th (2003–2005)||MENENDEZ, Robert||NJ|
|109th (2005–2007)||MENENDEZ, Robert 11||NJ|
|109th (2005–2007)||CLYBURN, James Enos 12||SC|
|110th (2007–2009)||EMANUEL, Rahm||IL|
|111th (2009–2011)||LARSON, John B.||CT|
|112th (2011–2013)||LARSON, John B.||CT|
|113th (2013–2015)||BECERRA, Xavier||CA|
|114th (2015–2017)||BECERRA, Xavier||CA|
1Valerie Heitshusen,"Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789–2015," 19 February 2015, Report RL 30567, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Caucus records show Representatives Niblack and Randall as both having served as Democratic Caucus Chairman during the Congress, but no dates of service were specified.
2Heitshusen, "Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789–2015." Former Parliamentarian Clarence Cannon's notes state, "Cox died during this Congress and [Representative James B.] McCreary evidently succeeded or acted for him." However, Representative Cox died on September 10, 1889, six months after the sine die adjournment of the 50th Congress and the convening of the 51st Congress.
3Heitshusen, "Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789–2015." Caucus records are contradictory for this period. They show the election of Representative James Hay as Democratic Caucus Chairman on January 19, 1911, but do not mention a resignation by incumbent chairman Clayton, nor do they specify that Hay was elected chairman for the new Congress. Later, they show the election of Representative Burleson on April 11, 1911.
4Heitshusen, "Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789–2015." Caucus records are contradictory for this period. They show the election of Representative James Hay as Democratic Caucus Chairman on January 19, 1911, but do not mention a resignation by incumbent chairman Clayton, nor do they specify that Hay was elected chairman for the new Congress. Later, they show the election of Representative Burleson on April 11, 1911.
5Resigned from the House of Representatives on October 5, 1930; there is no record of an election to fill the vacancy as caucus chair.
6Resigned as Democratic Caucus Chairman following election as Majority Leader on September 16, 1940; records do not indicate that a successor was chosen during the remainder of the Congress.
7Died in office, May 31, 1963.
8Elected Democratic Caucus Chairman on January 21, 1964.
9Resigned as Democratic Caucus Chairman on June 14, 1989.
10Elected Democratic Caucus Chairman on June 21, 1989.
11Resigned from the House of Representatives on January 16, 2006, after he was appointed to the U.S. Senate.
12Elected Democratic Caucus Chairman on December 16, 2005, and assumed office on January 18, 2006, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Democratic Caucus Chairman Robert Menendez.