*Party division totals are based on election day results.
Democratic majorities in Congress eroded after the 1978 elections. The 96th Congress (1979–1981) continued to struggle with energy legislation amid rising support for deficit reduction. The year-long Iranian revolution and subsequent hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran often overshadowed the serious economic problems. Immediately before their mass suicide at a South American commune, followers of cult leader Jim Jones murdered California Representative Leo J. Ryan during his investigation of the compound in Guyana.
To view complete lists of individuals who have served in these leadership and official positions since the 1st Congress, visit the People section
1Appointed February 28, 1980
2Served until February 1980