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Representative Sereno Payne of New York was the first House Majority Leader, elected to the position in 1899.

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Majority Leaders of the House (1899 to present)

Sereno Payne/tiles/non-collection/i/im_people_majleader_2002_021_019.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
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Sereno Payne of New York chaired the Ways and Means Committee before becoming the House's first Majority Leader.
The House of Representatives, with its large membership, has chosen majority and minority leaders since the 19th century to expedite legislative business and to keep their parties united. These leaders are elected every two years in secret balloting of the party caucus or conference. A list of House majority leaders from 1899 to present are available below.

The role of the majority leader has been defined by history and tradition. This officer is charged with scheduling legislation for floor consideration; planning the daily, weekly, and annual legislative agendas; consulting with Members to gauge party sentiment; and, generally working to advance the goals of the majority party. Information on the current activities of the majority leader is available from The Office of the Majority Leader's web site.

Congress and Years Name PartyState or Territory
56th (1899–1901) PAYNE, Sereno Elisha Republican NY
57th (1901–1903) PAYNE, Sereno Elisha Republican NY
58th (1903–1905) PAYNE, Sereno Elisha Republican NY
59th (1905–1907) PAYNE, Sereno Elisha Republican NY
60th (1907–1909) PAYNE, Sereno Elisha Republican NY
61st (1909–1911) PAYNE, Sereno Elisha Republican NY
62nd (1911–1913) UNDERWOOD, Oscar Wilder Democrat AL
63rd (1913–1915) UNDERWOOD, Oscar Wilder Democrat AL
64th (1915–1917) KITCHIN, Claude Democrat NC
65th (1917–1919) KITCHIN, Claude Democrat NC
66th (1919–1921) MONDELL, Frank Wheeler Republican WY
67th (1921–1923) MONDELL, Frank Wheeler Republican WY
68th (1923–1925) LONGWORTH, Nicholas Republican OH
69th (1925–1927) TILSON, John Quillin Republican CT
70th (1927–1929) TILSON, John Quillin Republican CT
71st (1929–1931) TILSON, John Quillin Republican CT
72nd (1931–1933) RAINEY, Henry Thomas Democrat IL
73rd (1933–1935) BYRNS, Joseph Wellington Democrat TN
74th (1935–1937) BANKHEAD, William Brockman 1 Democrat AL
75th (1937–1939) RAYBURN, Samuel Taliaferro Democrat TX
76th (1939–1941) RAYBURN, Samuel Taliaferro 2 Democrat TX
76th (1939–1941) MCCORMACK, John William 3 Democrat MA
77th (1941–1943) MCCORMACK, John William Democrat MA
78th (1943–1945) MCCORMACK, John William Democrat MA
79th (1945–1947) MCCORMACK, John William Democrat MA
80th (1947–1949) HALLECK, Charles Abraham Republican IN
81st (1949–1951) MCCORMACK, John William Democrat MA
82nd (1951–1953) MCCORMACK, John William Democrat MA
83rd (1953–1955) HALLECK, Charles Abraham Republican IN
84th (1955–1957) MCCORMACK, John William Democrat MA
85th (1957–1959) MCCORMACK, John William Democrat MA
86th (1959–1961) MCCORMACK, John William Democrat MA
87th (1961–1963) MCCORMACK, John William 4 Democrat MA
87th (1961–1963) ALBERT, Carl Bert 5 Democrat OK
88th (1963–1965) ALBERT, Carl Bert Democrat OK
89th (1965–1967) ALBERT, Carl Bert Democrat OK
90th (1967–1969) ALBERT, Carl Bert Democrat OK
91st (1969–1971) ALBERT, Carl Bert Democrat OK
92nd (1971–1973) BOGGS, Thomas Hale, Sr. 6 Democrat LA
93rd (1973–1975) O'NEILL, Thomas Philip, Jr. (Tip) Democrat MA
94th (1975–1977) O'NEILL, Thomas Philip, Jr. (Tip) Democrat MA
95th (1977–1979) WRIGHT, James Claude, Jr. Democrat TX
96th (1979–1981) WRIGHT, James Claude, Jr. Democrat TX
97th (1981–1983) WRIGHT, James Claude, Jr. Democrat TX
98th (1983–1985) WRIGHT, James Claude, Jr. Democrat TX
99th (1985–1987) WRIGHT, James Claude, Jr. Democrat TX
100th (1987–1989) FOLEY, Thomas Stephen Democrat WA
101st (1989–1991) FOLEY, Thomas Stephen 7 Democrat WA
101st (1989–1991) GEPHARDT, Richard Andrew 8 Democrat MO
102nd (1991–1993) GEPHARDT, Richard Andrew Democrat MO
103rd (1993–1995) GEPHARDT, Richard Andrew Democrat MO
104th (1995–1997) ARMEY, Richard Keith Republican TX
105th (1997–1999) ARMEY, Richard Keith Republican TX
106th (1999–2001) ARMEY, Richard Keith Republican TX
107th (2001–2003) ARMEY, Richard Keith Republican TX
108th (2003–2005) DELAY, Thomas Dale Republican TX
109th (2005–2007) DELAY, Thomas Dale 9 Republican TX
109th (2005–2007) BLUNT, Roy 10 Republican MO
109th (2005–2007) BOEHNER, John Andrew 11 Republican OH
110th (2007–2009) HOYER, Steny Hamilton Democrat MD
111th (2009–2011) HOYER, Steny Hamilton Democrat MD
112th (2011–2013) CANTOR, Eric Republican VA
113th (2013–2015) CANTOR, Eric 12 Republican VA
113th (2013–2015) MCCARTHY, Kevin 13 Republican CA

Footnotes

1Elected Speaker on June 4, 1936, filling the vacancy caused by the death of Speaker Joseph Byrns. Records indicate that Representative John J. O’Connor of New York, chairman of the House Rules Committee, served as acting Majority Leader during the 14 remaining days of the 74th Congress. O’Connor does not, however, appear to have been formally elected Majority Leader at that time and, therefore, is not included in this list. At the commencement of the 75th Congress, Representatives Samuel (Sam) Rayburn, James O’Connor, John Rankin, and others competed for the post of Majority Leader. Representative Rayburn ultimately was elected by the Democratic Caucus.

2Elected Speaker on September 16, 1940, filling the vacancy caused by the death of Speaker William Bankhead.

3Elected Majority Leader on September 26, 1940, to fill the vacancy created when Majority Leader Sam Rayburn was elected Speaker. From September 19 to 26, 1940, Representative Lindsay Warren of North Carolina served as the acting Majority Leader.

4Elected Speaker on January 10, 1962, at the commencement of the 87th Congress, 2nd session, filling the vacancy caused by the death of Sam Rayburn.

5Elected Majority Leader on January 10, 1962, at the commencement of the 87th Congress, 2nd session, to fill the vacancy left when Majority Leader John McCormack was elected Speaker.

6Disappeared on a flight from Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska, October 16, 1972. Presumed dead pursuant to House Resolution 1, at the commencement of the 93rd Congress.

7Elected Speaker on June 6, 1989, following Speaker James Wright’s resignation on the same date.

8Elected Majority Leader on June 14, 1989, to fill the vacancy left when Majority Leader Thomas Foley was elected Speaker on June 6, 1989.

9On September 28, 2005, Majority Leader Tom DeLay temporarily stepped aside as Majority Leader pursuant to Republican Conference rules.

10Elected Majority Leader on an interim basis by the Republican Conference on September 28, 2005, to fill the vacancy created when Majority Leader Tom DeLay temporarily stepped aside.

11Elected Majority Leader by the Republican Conference on February 2, 2006.

12Resigned as Majority Leader on July 31, 2014.

13Elected Majority Leader on June 19, 2014, to fill the vacancy left when Majority Leader Eric Cantor resigned on July 31, 2014, on which date Kevin McCarthy assumed office.