List of Speakers of the United States House of Representatives

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The speaker of the United States House of Representatives is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives. The office was established in 1789 by Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. The speaker is the political and parliamentary leader of the House, and is simultaneously the body's presiding officer, the de facto leader of the body's majority party, and the institution's administrative head. [1] Speakers also perform various administrative and procedural functions, all in addition to representing their own congressional district. Given these several roles and responsibilities, the Speaker usually does not personally preside over debates. That duty is instead delegated to members of the House from the majority party. Neither does the speaker regularly participate in floor debates. Additionally, the speaker is second in the presidential line of succession, after the vice president and ahead of the president pro tempore of the Senate. [2]

Contents

The House elects a new speaker by roll call vote when it first convenes after a general election for its two-year term, or when a speaker dies, resigns or is removed from the position intra-term. A majority of votes cast (as opposed to a majority of the full membership of the House) is necessary to elect a speaker. [1] If no candidate receives a majority vote, then the roll call is repeated until a speaker is elected. [3] The Constitution does not require the Speaker to be an incumbent member of the House, although every Speaker thus far has been. [4]

The current speaker of the House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi of California, was elected to a fourth (second consecutive) term in office on January 3, 2021, the first day of the 117th Congress. She is the only woman to have served as speaker. Altogether, 54 individuals, from 23 of the 50 states, have served as Speaker of the House. The number from each state are:

One speaker, James K. Polk, subsequently served as president of the United States, and two, Schuyler Colfax and John Nance Garner, later became vice president. The longest serving speaker was Sam Rayburn  17 years, 53 days. Elected 10 times, he led the House three times: from September 1940 to January 1947; January 1949 to January 1953; and January 1955 to November 1961. Tip O'Neill had the longest uninterrupted tenure as speaker 9 years, 350 days. Elected five times, he led the House from January 1977 to January 1987. Theodore M. Pomeroy had the shortest tenure; elected speaker on March 3, 1869, he served one day.

List of speakers

The House has elected a speaker 126 times since 1789: [3] at the start of each of the 117 congresses, plus on 10 occasions when a vacancy arose during a Congress via death or resignation. Of the 54 people who have served as speaker of the House over the past 231 years, 32 served multiple terms, and seven of them served nonconsecutive terms: Frederick Muhlenberg, Henry Clay, John W. Taylor, Thomas Brackett Reed, Joseph W. Martin Jr., Sam Rayburn, and Nancy Pelosi. Altogether, there have been 63 occasions on which a new speaker took office.

As of January2021 there are four living former speakers of the House: Newt Gingrich, Dennis Hastert, John Boehner, and Paul Ryan. Nancy Pelosi was also among this group, prior to reassuming the office in January 2019.

Cong.Name Party District [lower-alpha 1] Term of service
1st Frederick Muhlenberg.jpg Frederick Muhlenberg Pro-Administration Pennsylvania at-large April 1, 1789
March 4, 1791
2nd JonathanTrumbull.jpg Jonathan Trumbull Jr. Pro-Administration Connecticut at-large October 24, 1791
March 4, 1793
3rd Frederick Muhlenberg.jpg Frederick Muhlenberg Anti-Administration Pennsylvania at-large December 2, 1793 [lower-alpha 2]
March 4, 1795
 

4th

 

JDayton.jpg Jonathan Dayton Federalist New Jersey at-large December 7, 1795
March 4, 1797
 

5th

 

May 15, 1797
March 4, 1799
6th TheodoreSedgwick.jpg Theodore Sedgwick Federalist Massachusetts 1 December 2, 1799 [lower-alpha 2]
March 4, 1801
7th NC-Congress-NathanielMacon.jpg Nathaniel Macon Democratic-
Republican
North Carolina 5 December 7, 1801
March 4, 1803
8th North Carolina 6 October 17, 1803
March 4, 1805
9th December 2, 1805 [lower-alpha 2]
March 4, 1807
 

10th

 

JosephBradleyVarnum.jpg Joseph Bradley Varnum Democratic-
Republican
Massachusetts 4 October 26, 1807
March 4, 1809
 

11th

 

May 22, 1809 [lower-alpha 2]
March 4, 1811
 

12th

 

Henry Clay.JPG Henry Clay Democratic-
Republican
Kentucky 5 November 4, 1811
March 4, 1813
 

13th

 

Kentucky 2 May 24, 1813
January 19, 1814 [lower-alpha 3]
13th [lower-alpha 4] LangdonCheves.jpg Langdon Cheves Democratic-
Republican
South Carolina 1 January 19, 1814
March 4, 1815
14th Henry Clay.JPG Henry Clay Democratic-
Republican
Kentucky 2 December 4, 1815
March 4, 1817
15th December 1, 1817
March 4, 1819
16th December 6, 1819
October 28, 1820 [lower-alpha 3]
16th [lower-alpha 4] SpeakerTaylor.png John W. Taylor Democratic-
Republican
New York 11 November 15, 1820 [lower-alpha 2]
March 4, 1821
17th PPBarbour.jpg Philip Pendleton Barbour Democratic-
Republican
Virginia 11 December 4, 1821 [lower-alpha 2]
March 4, 1823
18th Henry Clay.JPG Henry Clay Democratic-
Republican
Kentucky 3 December 1, 1823
March 6, 1825 [lower-alpha 3]
19th SpeakerTaylor.png John W. Taylor Anti-Jacksonian New York 17 December 5, 1825 [lower-alpha 2]
March 4, 1827
20th SpeakerStevenson.png Andrew Stevenson Jacksonian Virginia 9 December 3, 1827
March 4, 1829
21st December 7, 1829
March 4, 1831
22nd December 5, 1831
March 4, 1833
23rd Virginia 11 December 2, 1833
June 2, 1834 [lower-alpha 3]
23rd [lower-alpha 4] John Bell.jpg John Bell Jacksonian Tennessee 7 June 2, 1834 [lower-alpha 2]
March 4, 1835
 

24th

 

James Knox Polk by GPA Healy, 1858.jpg James K. Polk Jacksonian Tennessee 9 December 7, 1835
March 4, 1837
 

25th

 

Democratic September 4, 1837
March 4, 1839
26th RbrtMTHntr.jpg Robert M. T. Hunter Whig Virginia 9 December 16, 1839 [lower-alpha 2]
March 4, 1841
27th John White.jpg John White Whig Kentucky 9 May 31, 1841
March 4, 1843
28th JohnWinstonJones.jpg John Winston Jones Democratic Virginia 6 December 4, 1843
March 4, 1845
29th John Wesley Davis.jpg John Wesley Davis Democratic Indiana 6 December 1, 1845
March 4, 1847
30th RCWinthrop.jpg Robert Charles Winthrop Whig Massachusetts 1 December 6, 1847 [lower-alpha 2]
March 4, 1849
31st Cobb, Howell2.jpg Howell Cobb Democratic Georgia 6 December 22, 1849 [lower-alpha 2]
March 4, 1851
 

32nd

 

LinnBoyd.jpg Linn Boyd Democratic Kentucky 1 December 1, 1851
March 4, 1853
 

33rd

 

December 5, 1853
March 4, 1855
34th Nathaniel Prentice Banks.jpg Nathaniel P. Banks Know Nothing Massachusetts 7 February 2, 1856 [lower-alpha 2]
March 4, 1857
35th James Lawrence Orr - Brady-Handy.jpg James Lawrence Orr Democratic South Carolina 5 December 7, 1857
March 4, 1859
36th William Pennington portrait.jpg William Pennington Republican New Jersey 5 February 1, 1860 [lower-alpha 2]
March 4, 1861
37th Galusha A. Grow restored.jpg Galusha A. Grow Republican Pennsylvania 14 July 4, 1861
March 4, 1863
38th Schuyler Colfax, photo portrait seated, c1855-1865.jpg Schuyler Colfax Republican Indiana 9 December 7, 1863
March 4, 1865
39th December 4, 1865
March 4, 1867
40th March 4, 1867
March 3, 1869 [lower-alpha 3]
40th [lower-alpha 4] Theodore Medad Pomeroy - Brady-Handy.jpg Theodore M. Pomeroy Republican New York 24 March 3–4, 1869
41st James G. Blaine - Brady-Handy.jpg James G. Blaine Republican Maine 3 March 4, 1869
March 4, 1871
42nd March 4, 1871
March 4, 1873
43rd March 4, 1873
March 4, 1875
44th Michael C. Kerr - Brady-Handy.jpg Michael C. Kerr Democratic Indiana 3 December 6, 1875
August 19, 1876 [lower-alpha 5]
44th [lower-alpha 4] Samuel J. Randall - Brady-Handy.jpg Samuel J. Randall Democratic Pennsylvania 3 December 4, 1876
March 4, 1877
45th October 15, 1877
March 4, 1879
46th March 18, 1879
March 4, 1881
47th J. Warren Keifer - Brady-Handy.jpg J. Warren Keifer Republican Ohio 8 December 5, 1881
March 4, 1883
48th John Griffin Carlisle, Brady-Handy photo portrait, ca1870-1880.jpg John G. Carlisle Democratic Kentucky 6 December 3, 1883
March 4, 1885
49th December 7, 1885
March 4, 1887
50th December 5, 1887
March 4, 1889
51st Thomas Brackett Reed by John Singer Sargent.jpg Thomas Brackett Reed Republican Maine 1 December 2, 1889
March 4, 1891
 

52nd

 

CharlesFrederickCrisp.jpg Charles Frederick Crisp Democratic Georgia 3 December 8, 1891
March 4, 1893
 

53rd

 

August 7, 1893
March 4, 1895
54th Thomas Brackett Reed by John Singer Sargent.jpg Thomas Brackett Reed Republican Maine 1 December 2, 1895
March 4, 1897
55th March 15, 1897
March 4, 1899
 

56th

 

DavidBremmerHenderson.jpg David B. Henderson Republican Iowa 3 December 4, 1899
March 4, 1901
 

57th

 

December 2, 1901
March 4, 1903
58th SpeakerCannon.png Joseph Gurney Cannon Republican Illinois 18 November 9, 1903
March 4, 1905
59th December 4, 1905
March 4, 1907
60th December 2, 1907
March 4, 1909
61st March 15, 1909
March 4, 1911
62nd James Beauchamp Clark.jpg Champ Clark Democratic Missouri 9 April 4, 1911
March 4, 1913
63rd April 7, 1913
March 4, 1915
64th December 6, 1915
March 4, 1917
65th April 2, 1917
March 4, 1919
66th Frederick Gillett.jpg Frederick H. Gillett Republican Massachusetts 2 May 19, 1919
March 4, 1921
67th April 11, 1921
March 4, 1923
68th December 5, 1923 [lower-alpha 2]
March 4, 1925
69th Nick Longworth Portrait.JPG Nicholas Longworth Republican Ohio 1 December 7, 1925
March 4, 1927
70th December 5, 1927
March 4, 1929
71st April 15, 1929
March 4, 1931
72nd John n garner.jpg John Nance Garner Democratic Texas 15 December 7, 1931
March 4, 1933
73rd SpeakerRainey.png Henry Thomas Rainey Democratic Illinois 20 March 9, 1933
August 19, 1934 [lower-alpha 5]
74th Joseph Byrns.jpg Jo Byrns Democratic Tennessee 5 January 3, 1935
June 4, 1936 [lower-alpha 5]
74th [lower-alpha 4] SpeakerBankhead.png William B. Bankhead Democratic Alabama 7 June 4, 1936
January 3, 1937
75th January 5, 1937
January 3, 1939
76th January 3, 1939
September 15, 1940 [lower-alpha 5]
76th [lower-alpha 4] Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn.jpg Sam Rayburn Democratic Texas 4 September 16, 1940
January 3, 1941
77th January 3, 1941
January 3, 1943
78th January 6, 1943
January 3, 1945
79th January 3, 1945
January 3, 1947
80th SPEAKER JWMartin.jpg Joseph W. Martin Jr. Republican Massachusetts 14 January 3, 1947
January 3, 1949
 

81st

 

Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn.jpg Sam Rayburn Democratic Texas 4 January 3, 1949
January 3, 1951
 

82nd

 

January 3, 1951
January 3, 1953
83rd SPEAKER JWMartin.jpg Joseph W. Martin Jr. Republican Massachusetts 14 January 3, 1953
January 3, 1955
84th Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn.jpg Sam Rayburn Democratic Texas 4 January 3, 1955
January 3, 1957
85th January 3, 1957
January 3, 1959
86th January 7, 1959
January 3, 1961
87th January 3, 1961
November 16, 1961 [lower-alpha 5]
87th [lower-alpha 4] Speaker John McCormack.jpg John W. McCormack Democratic Massachusetts 12 January 10, 1962
January 3, 1963
88th Massachusetts 9 January 9, 1963
January 3, 1965
89th January 4, 1965
January 3, 1967
90th January 10, 1967
January 3, 1969
91st January 3, 1969
January 3, 1971
92nd Speaker Albert - portrait.jpg Carl Albert Democratic Oklahoma 3 January 21, 1971
January 3, 1973
93rd January 3, 1973
January 3, 1975
94th January 14, 1975
January 3, 1977
95th SpeakerO'Neill.jpg Tip O'Neill Democratic Massachusetts 8 January 4, 1977
January 3, 1979
96th January 15, 1979
January 3, 1981
97th January 5, 1981
January 3, 1983
98th January 3, 1983
January 3, 1985
99th January 3, 1985
January 3, 1987
 

100th

 

SpeakerWright.jpg Jim Wright Democratic Texas 12 January 6, 1987
January 3, 1989
  101st

 

January 3, 1989
June 6, 1989 [lower-alpha 3]
101st [lower-alpha 4] SpeakerFoley.jpg Tom Foley Democratic Washington 5 June 6, 1989
January 3, 1991
102nd January 3, 1991
January 3, 1993
103rd January 5, 1993
January 3, 1995
 

104th

 

SpeakerGingrich.jpg Newt Gingrich Republican Georgia 6 January 4, 1995
January 3, 1997
 

105th

 

January 7, 1997
January 3, 1999 [lower-alpha 3]
106th SpeakerHastert.jpg Dennis Hastert Republican Illinois 14 January 6, 1999
January 3, 2001
107th January 3, 2001
January 3, 2003
108th January 7, 2003
January 3, 2005
109th January 3, 2005
January 3, 2007
 

110th

 

Official photo of Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2019.jpg Nancy Pelosi Democratic California 8 January 4, 2007
January 3, 2009
 

111th

 

January 6, 2009
January 3, 2011
112th John Boehner official portrait.jpg John Boehner Republican Ohio 8 January 5, 2011
January 3, 2013
113th January 3, 2013
January 3, 2015
114th January 6, 2015
October 29, 2015 [lower-alpha 3]
 

114th [lower-alpha 4]

 

Paul Ryan official portrait (cropped 3x4).jpg Paul Ryan Republican Wisconsin 1 October 29, 2015
January 3, 2017
 

115th

 

January 3, 2017
January 3, 2019
116th Official photo of Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2019.jpg Nancy Pelosi Democratic California 12 January 3, 2019
January 3, 2021
 

117th

 

January 3, 2021
Present
  Pro-Administration(2) [lower-alpha 6]     Anti-Administration (1) [lower-alpha 6]     Federalist (2)    Democratic-Republican (6) [lower-alpha 7]  
   Adams Republican (1) [lower-alpha 7]     Jacksonian (3) [lower-alpha 8]     Democratic (22) [lower-alpha 8]     Whig (3)    Know Nothing (1)    Republican (16)

Notes

  1. The district listed is the district the speaker represented at the time they were in office, which may be different in different Congresses due to redistricting.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Multi-ballot election.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Resigned from office and from Congress.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Intra-term special election.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Died in office.
  6. 1 2 Frederick Muhlenberg served as speaker twice in the 1790s, before political factions coalesced into formal parties; initially he identified with the pro–administration faction, but later he aligned himself with the anti–administration faction.
  7. 1 2 John Taylor served as speaker twice in the 1820s; initially he was as a member of the Democratic–Republican Party, and later, when the party began to fracture, he sided with its pro–Adams faction.
  8. 1 2 During James K. Polk's tenure as speaker the Jacksonian bloc amalgamated into the modern Democratic Party.

Timeline

Paul RyanJohn BoehnerNancy PelosiDennis HastertNewt GingrichTom FoleyJim WrightTip O'NeillCarl AlbertJohn W. McCormackJoseph W. Martin Jr.Sam RayburnWilliam B. BankheadJo ByrnsHenry Thomas RaineyJohn Nance GarnerNicholas LongworthFrederick H. GillettChamp ClarkJoseph Gurney CannonDavid B. HendersonCharles Frederick CrispThomas Brackett ReedJohn G. CarlisleJ. Warren KeiferSamuel J. RandallMichael C. KerrJames G. BlaineTheodore M. PomeroySchuyler ColfaxGalusha A. GrowWilliam PenningtonJames Lawrence OrrNathaniel P. BanksLinn BoydHowell CobbRobert Charles WinthropJohn Wesley DavisJohn Winston JonesJohn White (Kentucky politician)Robert M. T. HunterJames K. PolkJohn Bell (Tennessee politician)Andrew StevensonPhilip Pendleton BarbourJohn W. Taylor (politician)Langdon ChevesHenry ClayJoseph Bradley VarnumNathaniel MaconTheodore SedgwickJonathan DaytonJonathan Trumbull Jr.Frederick MuhlenbergList of Speakers of the United States House of Representatives

Speakers by time in office

The length of time given below is based on the difference between dates; if counted by number of calendar days all the figures would be one greater. Also, as many speakers were elected multiple times, and to terms that were, in several instances, not consecutive, the length of time given for each speaker measures their cumulative length of incumbency as speaker. Further, time after adjournment of one Congress but before the convening of the next Congress is not counted. For example, Nathaniel Macon was speaker in both the 8th and 9th Congresses, but the eight-month gap between the two Congresses is not counted toward his service. The exact dates of service for each individual speaker is shown in the Term of service column of the above table.

Official seal of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Seal of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives.svg
Official seal of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Sam Rayburn, longest serving speaker of the House,
17 years, 53 days (cumulative) Rayburn-Sam-LOC.jpg
Sam Rayburn, longest serving speaker of the House,
17 years, 53 days (cumulative)
Tip O'Neill, longest uninterrupted tenure of office,
9 years, 350 days Tip O'Neill 1978 (retouched).jpg
Tip O'Neill, longest uninterrupted tenure of office,
9 years, 350 days
Theodore M. Pomeroy, shortest tenure of office, 1 day Theodore Medad Pomeroy - Brady-Handy.jpg
Theodore M. Pomeroy, shortest tenure of office, 1 day
RankNameTime in officeTEYear(s) in which elected
1 Sam Rayburn 17 years, 53 days101940; 1941; 1943; 1945; 1949; 1951; 1955; 1957; 1959; 1961
2 Henry Clay 10 years, 196 days61811; 1813; 1815; 1817; 1819; 1823
3 Tip O'Neill 9 years, 350 days51977; 1979; 1981; 1983; 1985
4 John W. McCormack 8 years, 344 days51962; 1963; 1965; 1967; 1969
5 Dennis Hastert 7 years, 359 days41999; 2001; 2003; 2005
6 Champ Clark 6 years, 357 days41911; 1913; 1915; 1917
7 Nancy Pelosi 6 years, 21 days42007; 2009; 2019; 2021
8 Carl Albert 5 years, 337 days31971; 1973; 1975
9 Joseph Gurney Cannon 5 years, 285 days41903; 1905; 1907; 1909
10 Tom Foley 5 years, 209 days31989; 1991; 1993
11 James G. Blaine 5 years, 93 days31869; 1871; 1873
12 Frederick H. Gillett 4 years, 341 days31919; 1921; 1923
13 John Boehner 4 years, 297 days32011; 2013; 2015
14 Schuyler Colfax 4 years, 176 days31863; 1865; 1867
15 Thomas Brackett Reed 4 years, 172 days31889; 1895; 1897
16 Nicholas Longworth 4 years, 133 days31925; 1927; 1929
17 William B. Bankhead 4 years, 102 days31936; 1937; 1939
18 Andrew Stevenson 4 years, 83 days41827; 1829; 1831; 1833
19 Joseph W. Martin Jr. 4 years21947; 1953
20 Newt Gingrich 3 years, 361 days21995; 1997
21 Nathaniel Macon 3 years, 317 days31801; 1803; 1805
22 John G. Carlisle 3 years, 267 days31883; 1885; 1887
23 Samuel J. Randall 3 years, 215 days31876; 1877; 1879
24 Paul Ryan 3 years, 66 days22015; 2017
25 Frederick Muhlenberg 3 years, 64 days21789; 1793
26 Joseph Bradley Varnum 3 years, 49 days21807; 1809
27 Jonathan Dayton 3 years, 14 days21795; 1797
28 Charles Frederick Crisp 2 years, 295 days21891; 1893
29 James K. Polk 2 years, 268 days21835; 1837
30
(tie)
Linn Boyd 2 years, 182 days21851; 1853
David B. Henderson 2 years, 182 days21899; 1901
32 Jim Wright 2 years, 151 days21987; 1989
33 John White 1 year, 277 days11841
34 Galusha A. Grow 1 year, 243 days11861
35 John W. Taylor 1 year, 198 days21820; 1825
36 Henry Thomas Rainey 1 year, 163 days11933
37 Joseph W. Byrns Sr. 1 year, 153 days11935
38 Jonathan Trumbull Jr. 1 year, 131 days11791
39 John Wesley Davis 1 year, 93 days11845
40 Theodore Sedgwick 1 year, 92 days11799
41
(tie)
Philip Pendleton Barbour 1 year, 90 days11821
John Winston Jones 1 year, 90 days11843
43 J. Warren Keifer 1 year, 89 days11881
44 Robert Charles Winthrop 1 year, 88 days11847
45
(tie)
James Lawrence Orr 1 year, 87 days11857
John Nance Garner 1 year, 87 days11931
47 Robert M. T. Hunter 1 year, 78 days11839
48 Howell Cobb 1 year, 72 days11849
49 Langdon Cheves 1 year, 44 days11814
50 William Pennington 1 year, 31 days11860
51 Nathaniel P. Banks 1 year, 30 days11856
52 John Bell 275 days11834
53 Michael C. Kerr 257 days11875
54 Theodore M. Pomeroy 1 day11869

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Debra Anne Haaland is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative from New Mexico's 1st congressional district since 2019. The district includes most of Albuquerque, along with most of its suburbs. Haaland is a former chairwoman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. Along with Sharice Davids, she is one of the first two Native American women elected to the U.S. Congress. Haaland is an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo and a 35th-generation New Mexican. Haaland is a political progressive who supports the movements to abolish ICE and to implement the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.

2021 Speaker of the United States House of Representatives election Re-election of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker

The 2021 Speaker of the United States House of Representatives election was held on January 3, 2021, on the opening day of the 117th United States Congress, two months after the 2020 elections for the United States House of Representatives. This was the 127th Speaker of the House of Representatives election since the office was created in 1789.

References

  1. 1 2 Forte, David F. "Essays on Article I: Speaker of the House". Heritage Guide to The Constitution. Heritage Foundation. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  2. Relyea, Harold C. (August 5, 2005). "Continuity of Government: Current Federal Arrangements and the Future" (PDF). CRS Report for Congress. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, the Library of Congress. pp. 2–4. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  3. 1 2 "Speaker Elections Decided by Multiple Ballots". history.house.gov. United States House of Representatives. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  4. Heitshusen, Valerie; Beth, Richard S. (January 4, 2019). "Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913–2019" (PDF). RL30857. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service . Retrieved March 23, 2019.

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from the United States House of Representatives document: "List of Speakers of the House".