The House of Representatives

Sources of Information
Electronic Access Specific information
and legislation can be found on the
Internet at or www.
Publications The Congressional
Directory, the Senate Manual, and
telephone directory for the U.S. Senate
may be obtained from the Superintendent
of Documents, Government Printing
Office, Washington, DC 20402. Internet,
For further information, contact the Secretary of the Senate, The Capitol, Washington, DC 20510. Phone,
202–224–2115. Internet,
The House of Representatives
The Capitol, Washington, DC 20515
Phone, 202–225–3121. Internet,
Sergeant at Arms PAUL D. IRVING
Chief Administrative Officer DANIEL J. STRODEL
The House of Representatives comprises 435 Representatives. The number
representing each State is determined by population, but every State is entitled to
at least one Representative. Members are elected by the people for 2-year terms, all
terms running for the same period. Representatives must be residents of the State from
which they are chosen. In addition, a Representative must be at least 25 years of age
and must have been a citizen for at least 7 years.
A Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico (elected for a 4-year term) and
Delegates from American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin
Islands complete the composition of the Congress of the United States. Delegates are
elected for a term of 2 years. The Resident Commissioner and Delegates may take part
in the floor discussions but have no vote in the full House. They do, however, vote in
the committees to which they are assigned and in the Committee of the Whole House
on the State of the Union.
Officers The Presiding Officer of the
House of Representatives, the Speaker, is
elected by the House. The Speaker may
designate any Member of the House to
act in the Speaker’s absence.
The House leadership is structured
essentially the same as the Senate, with
the Members in the political parties
responsible for the election of their
respective leader and whips.
The elected officers of the House
of Representatives include the Clerk,
the Sergeant at Arms, the Chief
Administrative Officer, and the Chaplain.
The Clerk is custodian of the seal of
the House and administers the primary
legislative activities of the House. These
duties include accepting the credentials
of the Members-elect and calling the
Members to order at the commencement
of the first session of each Congress;
keeping the Journal; taking all votes
and certifying the passage of bills; and
processing all legislation. Through
various departments, the Clerk is also
responsible for floor and committee
reporting services; legislative information
and reference services; the administration
of House reports pursuant to House
rules and certain legislation including
the Ethics in Government Act and
the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995;
the distribution of House documents;
and administration of the House Page
Program. The Clerk is also charged with
supervision of the offices vacated by
Members due to death, resignation, or

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