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72nd Congress (1931–1933)1

Congressional Profile

Total Membership:

  • 435 Representatives
  • 2 Delegates
  • 3 Resident Commissioners

Party Divisions:*

  • 216 Democrats
  • 218 Republicans
  • 1 Farmer-Labor

*Party division totals are based on election day results.

  • Election Statistics, 1930 [PDF]
John Nance Garner/tiles/non-collection/s/speaker_garner_2005_016_039.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
John Nance Garner of Texas served as Speaker for one term before being elected Vice President.

Congress Overview

After 14 Members-elect died between Election Day 1930 and the start of the 72nd Congress (1931–1933), Democrats won enough special elections to take control of a narrowly divided House. Republicans retained their Senate majority by one seat. Congress responded to the Great Depression and established the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to provide loans to banks and industry, but President Herbert Hoover vetoed regional public works projects. Unemployed World War I veterans marched on the capital, but Congress refused to fast-track the “bonus” payments they had been promised. Hoover later ordered the Army to evict the veterans from their Washington camps.

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 72nd 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:
John N. Garner (D–Texas)
Majority Leader:
Henry T. Rainey (D–Illinois)
Minority Leader:
Bertrand H. Snell (R–New York)
Democratic Whip:
John McDuffie (D–Alabama)
Republican Whip:
Carl G. Bachmann (R–West Virginia)
Democratic Caucus Chairman:
William W. Arnold (D–Illinois)
Republican Conference Chairman:
Willis C. Hawley (R–Oregon)
Clerk of the House:
South Trimble
Sergeant at Arms:
Kenneth Romney
Chaplain of the House:
James Shera Montgomery – Methodist
Joseph J. Sinnott
Finis E. Scott
Lewis Deschler

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


1Before the first day of Congress, 14 representatives-elect died. The results of the special elections caused party control of the House to change and Democrats organized with the majority of the House seats.