Open main menu

The Ninety-sixth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from January 3, 1979, to January 3, 1981, during the last two years of the administration of U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

96th United States Congress
95th ←
→ 97th
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1981
Senate PresidentWalter Mondale (D)
Senate President pro temWarren Magnuson (D)
except December 5, 1980
Milton Young (R)
December 5, 1980
House SpeakerTip O'Neill (D)
Members100 senators
435 members of the House
5 non-voting delegates
Senate MajorityDemocratic
House MajorityDemocratic
1st: January 15, 1979 – January 3, 1980
2nd: January 3, 1980 – December 16, 1980

The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the 1970 Census. Both chambers had a Democratic majority.


Major eventsEdit

Major legislationEdit

Party summaryEdit


Party standings on the opening day of the 96th Congress
  57 Democratic Senators
  1 Independent Senator, caucusing with Democrats
  42 Republican Senators
(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of the previous congress 58 1 41 100 0
Begin 58 1 41 100 0
End 55 44
Final voting share 55.0% 1.0% 44.0%
Beginning of the next congress 46 1 53 100 0

House of RepresentativesEdit

House seats by party holding plurality in state
  80+% to 100% Republican
  80+% to 100% Democratic
  60+% to 80% Republican
  60+% to 80% Democratic
  50+% to 60% Republican
  50+% to 60% Democratic
  striped: 50–50 split

Total members: 435




This list is arranged by chamber, then by state. Senators are listed in order of seniority, and Representatives are listed by district.


Senators are popularly elected statewide every two years, with one-third beginning new six-year terms with each Congress, In this Congress, Class 3 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1980; Class 1 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1982; and Class 2 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1984.

House of RepresentativesEdit

The names of members of the House of Representatives are preceded by their district numbers.

Changes in MembershipEdit

The count below reflects changes from the beginning of the first session of this Congress.


  • replacements: 4
  • deaths:
  • resignations: 4
  • vacancy:
  • Total seats with changes: 4
Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[a]
(Class 1)
Edmund Muskie
Resigned May 7, 1980 to become United States Secretary of State.
Successor appointed to finish the term.
George J. Mitchell
May 19, 1980
New Hampshire
(Class 3)
John A. Durkin
Resigned December 29, 1980 to give successor priority in seniority.
Successor appointed to finish the term.
Warren Rudman
December 29, 1980
(Class 3)
Richard Stone
Resigned December 30, 1980 to give successor priority in seniority.
Successor appointed to finish the term.
Paula Hawkins
January 1, 1981
(Class 3)
Donald Stewart
Resigned January 2, 1981 to give successor priority in seniority.
Successor appointed to finish the term.
Jeremiah Denton
January 2, 1981

House of RepresentativesEdit

  • replacements: 7
  • deaths: 1
  • resignations: 4
  • expulsion: 1
  • contested election:
  • Total seats with changes: 10
District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[a]
California 11th Vacant Rep. Leo Ryan died during previous congress William Royer (R) April 3, 1979
Wisconsin 6th Vacant Rep. William A. Steiger died during previous congress Tom Petri (R) April 3, 1979
Illinois 10th Abner J. Mikva (D) Resigned September 26, 1979, after being appointed judge of U.S. Court of Appeals John Porter (R) January 22, 1980
Pennsylvania 11th Daniel J. Flood (D) Resigned January 31, 1980 Ray Musto (D) April 9, 1980
Louisiana 3rd David Treen (R) Resigned March 10, 1980, after being elected Governor of Louisiana Billy Tauzin (D) May 22, 1980
West Virginia 3rd John M. Slack, Jr. (D) Died March 17, 1980 John G. Hutchinson (D) June 30, 1980
Michigan 13th Charles Diggs (D) Resigned June 3, 1980 George W. Crockett, Jr. (D) November 4, 1980
New Mexico 2nd Harold L. Runnels (D) Died August 5, 1980 Vacant Not filled this term
Pennsylvania 1st Michael Myers (D) Expelled October 2, 1980
South Carolina 6th John Jenrette (D) Resigned December 10, 1980
New Jersey 4th Frank Thompson (D) Resigned December 29, 1980, after being censured by the House of Representatives


Lists of committees and their party leaders, for members (House and Senate) of the committees and their assignments, go into the Official Congressional Directory at the bottom of the article and click on the link (2 links), in the directory after the pages of terms of service, you will see the committees of the Senate, House (Standing with Subcommittees, Select and Special) and Joint and after the committee pages, you will see the House/Senate committee assignments in the directory, 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.


House of RepresentativesEdit

Joint committeesEdit

Employees and legislative agency directorsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b This is the date the member was seated or an oath administered, not necessarily the same date her/his service began.


  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

External linksEdit