113th United States Congress
In addition to its diversity, the composition of the 113th Congress is notable for its inexperience. In Feb. 2013, the Washington Post published a story exploring how the current generation of congressional committee leaders see the dismantlement of traditional lawmaking procedure, and their roles within it, as a consequence of Congress' recent bulge of freshmen members. Reinforcing their theory, the report cited that over one third of House members, and 32 of the Senate's 100 members, have "served two years or less."
March 2013 filibuster
“I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA. I will speak until I can no longer speak,” With these words Sen. Rand Paul initiated a filibuster to delay the senate vote on the confirmation of the President's nominee to the head of the CIA and to draw attention to the questions surrounding the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or "drones" by the executive branch. Paul began speaking shortly before noon on Wednesday and continued to speak for 12 hours and 52 minutes, which marks his speech as the 9th longest filibuster in the history of the Senate. When asked why this sort of event does not occur more frequently, Paul explained that since who speaks on the Senate floor is decided by the leadership of the Senate, it's often difficult to begin a traditional filibuster. "One of the reasons filibusters don't occur is because they carefully guard the floor from letting it happen. And it was left unguarded," he said,"We had no plan and I had the wrong shoes on, my feet were hurting the whole day," 
The main topic of Paul's speech was the use of drones as a means of attacking American citizens on U.S. soil, asking "Your notification is the buzz of propellers on the drone as it flies overhead in the seconds before you're killed. Is that what we really want from our government?" . Paul protested the lack of transparency in the drone program, asking "What will be the standard for how we kill Americans in America?... Could political dissent be part of the standard for drone strikes?" Paul questioned the President's refusal to state publicly that such strikes would not be used against citizens on U.S. soil saying, "[Obama] says trust him because he hasn’t done it yet. He says he doesn’t intend to do so, but he might. Mr. President, that’s not good enough . . . so I’ve come here to speak for as long as I can to draw attention to something that I find to really be very disturbing.” Paul concluded his remarks asking for his counterparts on the other side of the aisle to join him in his efforts to obtain clarification from the president.
A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat. According to the website Breitbart, 30 Republican senators did not support the filibuster. The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."
|President of the Senate||Joe Biden||Democratic|
|Senate Majority Leadership|
|President pro tempore||Patrick Leahy||Democratic|
|Senate Majority Leader||Harry Reid||Democratic|
|Senate Majority Whip||Richard Durbin||Democratic|
|Senate Minority Leadership|
|Senate Minority Leader||Mitch McConnell||Republican|
|Senate Minority Whip||John Cornyn||Republican|
House of Representatives
|Speaker of the House||John Boehner||Republican|
|House Majority Leadership|
|House Majority Leader||Eric Cantor||Republican|
|House Majority Whip||Kevin McCarthy||Republican|
|House Minority Leadership|
|House Minority Leader||Nancy Pelosi||Democratic|
|House Minority Whip||Steny Hoyer||Democratic|
Speaker of the House Election
During the 113th Congress swearing in ceremony and election for Speaker of the House, Ohio representative and Speaker of the 112th Congress John Boehner (R) saw nine Republican members of congress either vote for someone else or abstain and vote present. This is a change from the Speaker election in 2010, where Boehner received votes from the entire 241 member Republican caucus. Boehner won re-election to the speakership with 220 votes. He needed a majority of members voting, which would be 214 of the 426 who voted. Former Speaker and California representative Nancy Pelosi (D) in turn received 192 votes.
The nine Republican members who voted for someone other than Boehner include: Justin Amash, Steve Pearce, Jim Bridenstine, Ted Yoho, Paul Broun, Louie Gohmert, Walter Jones, Thomas Massie, and Tim Huelskamp. Not all members who voted for someone other the Boehner or Pelosi voted for a current member of the U.S. House. Outgoing member Allen West, former Comptroller General David Walker, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell all received votes. This highlights the fact that the speaker does not have to be a member of the U.S. House, although all previous speakers have been.
See the List of current members of the U.S. Congress page for a list of current members.
The following data lists the professions of the members of the U.S. Senate and the change in their numbers from the 112th congress.
- 45 lawyers (-1)
- 22 businesspeople (0)
- 9 career politicians and government employees (-1)
- 7 educators (0)
- 4 nonprofit and community workers (+1)
- 3 medical professionals (0)
- 3 farmers and ranchers (+1)
- 3 career military and law enforcement (+1)
- 2 entertainment and media (-1)
- 2 other (+1): 1 social worker, 1 engineer
The following data lists the professions of the members of the U.S. House and the change in their numbers from the 112th congress.
- 128 lawyers (+3)
- 108 businesspeople (-7)
- 55 career politicians and government employees (+2)
- 44 educators (+2)
- 29 medical professionals (+1)
- 19 career military and law enforcement (+2)
- 12 farmers and ranchers (-1)
- 10 nonprofit and community workers (0)
- 8 entertainment and media (+4)
- 7 accountants (0)
- 13 other (-4): 2 social workers, 1 microbiologist, 1 legal secretary, 2 clergy, 2 engineers, 1 youth camp director, 1 mill supervisor, 1 physicist, 1 carpenter, 1 union rep
Election rivals serving concurrently
There are several members of the U.S. House that were one-time rivals who faced off in previous elections. This is not a normal occurrence but does happen after redistricting or when a former candidate moves. The following is a list of such cases in the 113th Congress.
- Florida delegation
- Illinois delegation
- Nevada delegation
- Washington delegation
- The Washington Post, "The 113th Congress is the most diverse in history," January 3, 2013
- Slate.com "For the First Time Ever, We'll Have Two Black Senators Serving at the Same Time," January 30, 2013
- The Washington Post, "Congress's committee chairmen push to reassert their power," February 13, 2013
- Washingtontimes.com"After almost 13 hours, Rand Paul ends Brennan filibuster" March 7, 2013
- NYTimes.com Republicans, Led by Rand Paul, Finally End Filibuster March 7, 2013
- CNN Poliitical ticker "Rand Paul on filibuster: 'We had no plan March 7, 2013
- FoxNews.com "Sen. Paul declares 'victory' after Holder offers assurance on drones" March 2013
- NYTimes.com "Republicans, Led by Rand Paul, Finally End Filibuster March 7,2013
- Washingtonexaminer.com "Rand Paul filibustering over drones: I will not let Obama ‘shred the Constitution’" March 7, 2013
- USA Today "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest" March 7, 2013
- CNN "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
- USA Today "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
- ABC News "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013
- Breitbart "AWOL: Meet The GOP Senators Who Refused to Stand With Rand," March 7, 2013
- Politico "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
- Washington Post "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
- The Hill "Boehner reelected as Speaker; nine Republicans defect in vote," January 3, 2013
- Office of the Clerk "House Leadership & Officers," accessed January 3, 2013
- Bloomberg Businessweek, "The 113th Congress, by the Numbers," January 10, 2013