72nd United States Congress

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72nd United States Congress

March 4, 1931 – March 4, 1933
Members96 senators
435 representatives
5 non-voting delegates
Senate majority Republican
Senate President Charles Curtis (R)
House majority Republican, then Democratic
House Speaker John N. Garner (D)
1st: December 7, 1931 – July 16, 1932
2nd: December 2, 1932 – March 3, 1933

The 72nd United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. [1] [2] It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1931, to March 4, 1933, during the last two years of Herbert Hoover's presidency. The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the 1910 United States census. The Senate had a Republican majority. The House started with a very slim Republican majority, but by the time it first met in December 1931, the Democrats had gained a majority through special elections.


Major events

Major legislation

Constitutional amendments

Party summary

The count below identifies party affiliations at the beginning of the first session of this Congress, and includes members from vacancies and newly admitted states, when they were first seated. Changes resulting from subsequent replacements are shown below in the "Changes in membership" section.


(shading shows control)

End of previous congress 42 1 53960
Begin 47 1 48 96 0
End 46 951
Final voting share48.4% 1.1% 50.5%
Beginning of next congress 58 1 36951

House of Representatives

(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Democratic Farmer–Labor Republican Vacant
End of previous Congress 16612654323
March 16, 19312154332
April 9, 19312164323
May 12, 19312162164332
May 26, 19312152164323
May 29, 19312144314
July 4, 19312154305
July 13, 19312134296
July 18, 19312144287
July 28, 19312124278
September 9, 19312134287
September 29, 19312142144296
October 13, 19312154305
October 18, 19312144296
October 22, 19312142134287
November 3, 19312172154332
November 6, 19312144323
November 24, 19312184332
December 1, 1931
Beginning of first session
January 5, 19322204350
January 29, 19322134341
February 4, 19322184323
March 2, 19322194332
March 15, 19322204341
April 1, 19322124332
April 5, 1932221211
April 21, 19322104323
April 26, 19322114332
May 31, 19322104323
June 14, 19322204314
July 23, 19322194305
August 14, 19322204314
October 5, 19322194305
October 7, 19322184296
November 6, 19322174287
November 8, 19322202124332
November 29, 19322114323
December 3, 19322104314
December 13, 19322194305
January 7, 19332094296
January 8, 19332084287
January 28, 19332204296
February 16, 19332064278
Final voting share51.4%0.2%48.4%
Non-voting members00250
Beginning of next Congress31151174332


President of the Senate
Charles Curtis (R) Charles Curtis-portrait.jpg
President of the Senate
Charles Curtis (R)


Majority (Republican)

Minority (Democratic)

House of Representatives

House Speaker John Garner (D) John n garner.jpg
House Speaker John Garner (D)

Note: Republican Nicholas Longworth, the Speaker of the House in the previous Congress, was Speaker-presumptive with his party's mere three-seat majority. However, Longworth died on April 9, 1931, and by the time the 72nd Congress convened in December 1931, Democrats had gained four seats from Republicans through special elections following deaths, thus becoming the majority party in the House. Democrat John Garner was subsequently elected as Speaker. [4]

Majority (Democratic)

Minority (Republican)


This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed by class, and representatives are listed by district.


Senators were elected every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress. Preceding the names in the list below are Senate class numbers, which indicate the cycle of their election. In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1934; Class 2 meant their term began with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1936; and Class 3 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1932.

House of Representatives

The names of members of the House of Representatives elected statewide on the general ticket or otherwise at-large, are preceded by an "At-large," and the names of those elected from districts, whether plural or single member, are preceded by their district numbers.

Changes in membership


Senate changes
Vacated byReason for changeSuccessorDate of successor's
formal installation [lower-alpha 2]
Frank C. Partridge (R)Interim appointee lost nomination to finish the term.
Successor elected March 31, 1931.
Warren Austin (R)April 1, 1931
New Jersey
Dwight Morrow (R)Died October 5, 1931.
Successor was appointed and later elected.
William W. Barbour (R)December 1, 1931
Thaddeus H. Caraway (D)Died November 6, 1931.
Successor was appointed to finish the term.
Hattie Caraway (D)November 13, 1931
William J. Harris (D)Died April 18, 1932.
Successor was appointed to finish the term.
John S. Cohen (D)April 25, 1932
Charles W. Waterman (R)Died August 27, 1932.
Successor was appointed to finish the term.
Walter Walker (D)September 26, 1932
Wesley L. Jones (R)Died November 19, 1932.
Successor was appointed to finish the term.
Elijah S. Grammer (R)November 22, 1932
Walter Walker (D)Interim appointee lost election to finish term.
Successor elected November 8, 1932.
Karl C. Schuyler (R)December 7, 1932
North Carolina
Cameron A. Morrison (D)Interim appointee lost election to finish term.
Successor elected November 8, 1932.
Robert R Reynolds (D)December 5, 1932
John S. Cohen (D)Interim appointee lost election to finish term.
Successor elected January 12, 1933.
Richard Russell Jr. (D)January 12, 1933
Harry B. Hawes (D)Incumbent retired and then resigned early February 3, 1933.
Successor appointed having already been elected.
Bennett Champ Clark (D)February 3, 1933
Thomas J. Walsh (D)Died March 2, 1933
Seat remained vacant until next Congress

House of Representatives

House changes
DistrictVacated byReason for changeSuccessorDate of successor's
formal installation [lower-alpha 2]
Wisconsin 1st VacantRepresentative Henry A. Cooper (R) died in previous congress. Thomas R. Amlie (R)October 13, 1931
Louisiana 8th James B. Aswell (D)Died March 16, 1931 John H. Overton (D)May 12, 1931
Ohio 1st Nicholas Longworth (R)Died April 9, 1931 John B. Hollister (R)November 3, 1931
New York 7th Matthew V. O'Malley (D)Died May 26, 1931. Because Congress was not in session at the time of his death, O'Malley never took his oath of office or exercised any of the duties of a Congressman. He was, nevertheless, serving in office from the beginning of his term on March 4, 1931. John J. Delaney (D)November 3, 1931
Ohio 20th Charles A. Mooney (D)Died May 29, 1931 Martin L. Sweeney (D)November 3, 1931
Pennsylvania 2nd George S. Graham (R)Died July 4, 1931 Edward L. Stokes (R)November 3, 1931
Georgia 1st Charles G. Edwards (D)Died July 13, 1931 Homer C. Parker (D)September 9, 1931
Michigan 8th Bird J. Vincent (R)Died July 18, 1931 Michael J. Hart (D)November 3, 1931
Missouri 7th Samuel C. Major (D)Died July 28, 1931 Robert D. Johnson (D)September 29, 1931
New Jersey 5th Ernest R. Ackerman (R)Died October 18, 1931 Percy H. Stewart (D)December 1, 1931
New Hampshire 1st Fletcher Hale (R)Died October 22, 1931 William N. Rogers (D)January 5, 1932
Texas 14th Harry M. Wurzbach (R)Died November 6, 1931 Richard M. Kleberg (D)November 24, 1931
Pennsylvania 20th James R. Leech (R)Resigned January 29, 1932, to become a member of the United States Board of Tax Appeals Howard W. Stull (R)April 26, 1932
Mississippi 7th Percy Quin (D)Died February 4, 1932 Lawrence R. Ellzey (D)March 15, 1932
Georgia 6th Samuel Rutherford (D)Died February 4, 1932 Carlton Mobley (D)March 2, 1932
Indiana 8th Albert H. Vestal (R)Died April 1, 1932Seat remained vacant until next Congress.
Illinois 8th Peter C. Granata (R)Lost contested election April 5, 1932 Stanley H. Kunz (D)April 5, 1932
Puerto Rico at-large Félix Córdova Dávila resigned April 11, 1932, to become Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico José Lorenzo Pesquera April 15, 1932
Massachusetts 8th Frederick W. Dallinger (R)Resigned October 1, 1932Seat remained vacant until next Congress.
Pennsylvania 18th Edward M. Beers (R)Died April 21, 1932 Joseph F. Biddle (R)November 8, 1932
Pennsylvania 6th George A. Welsh (R)Resigned May 31, 1932, to become judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Robert L. Davis (R)November 8, 1932
Tennessee 7th Edward E. Eslick (D)Died June 14, 1932 Willa McCord Blake Eslick (D)August 14, 1932
Virginia 10th Henry St. George Tucker III (D)Died July 23, 1932 Joel W. Flood (D)November 8, 1932
Maryland 4th J. Charles Linthicum (D)Died October 5, 1932 Ambrose J. Kennedy (D)November 8, 1932
Georgia 3rd Charles R. Crisp (D)Resigned October 7, 1932, to become a member of the US Tariff Commission Bryant T. Castellow (D)November 8, 1932
Illinois 22nd Charles A. Karch (D)Resigned November 6, 1932Seat remained vacant until next Congress.
Michigan 9th James C. McLaughlin (R)Died November 29, 1932Seat remained vacant until next Congress.
Connecticut 3rd John Q. Tilson (R)Resigned December 3, 1932Seat remained vacant until next Congress.
Texas 8th Daniel E. Garrett (D)Died December 13, 1932 Joe H. Eagle (D)January 28, 1933
Oregon 2nd Robert R. Butler (R)Died January 7, 1933Seat remained vacant until next Congress.
Pennsylvania 24th Samuel A. Kendall (R)Died January 8, 1933Seat remained vacant until next Congress.
Minnesota 10th Godfrey G. Goodwin (R)Died February 16, 1933Seat remained vacant until next Congress.


Lists of committees and their party leaders for members of the House and Senate committees can be found through the Official Congressional Directory at the bottom of this article. The directory after the pages of terms of service lists committees of the Senate, House (Standing with Subcommittees, Select and Special) and Joint and, after that, House/Senate committee assignments. On the committees section of the House and Senate in the Official Congressional Directory, the committee's members on the first row on the left side shows the chairman of the committee and on the right side shows the ranking member of the committee.