The One Hundred Twelfth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, from January 3, 2011, until January 3, 2013. It convened in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2011, and ended on January 3, 2013, 17 days before the end of the presidential term to which Barack Obama was elected in 2008. Senators elected to regular terms in 2006 completed those terms in this Congress. This Congress included the last House of Representatives elected from congressional districts that were apportioned based on the 2000 census.
In the 2010 midterm elections, the Republican Party won the majority in the House of Representatives. While the Democrats kept their Senate majority, it was reduced from the previous Congress. This was the first Congress in which the House and Senate were controlled by different parties since the 107th Congress (2001–2003), and the first Congress to begin that way since the 99th Congress (1985–1987). In this Congress, the House of Representatives had the largest number of Republican members, 242, since the 80th Congress (1947–1949). It was also the first Congress since 1947 in which no member of the Kennedy family served, and it was viewed as one of the most politically polarized Congress since Reconstruction, and the least productive since the Second World War, with record low approval ratings.
January 6, 2011: On the second day of the 112th Congress, the House of Representatives read a modified version of the U.S. Constitution, a first.
January 8, 2011: 2011 Tucson shooting: Representative Gabrielle Giffords and nineteen other people were shot by a gunman in Tucson, Arizona. Six of them, including a federal judge and a congressional aide, died. Votes on the House floor were suspended for one week.
January 25, 2011: 2011 State of the Union Address
March 19, 2011: The United States initiated Operation Odyssey Dawn as part of the international military intervention in the Libyan Civil War. The intervention continued under the auspices of NATO as Operation Unified Protector until the end of military operations in October 2011.
May 2, 2011: Navy Seals killed al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in Operation Neptune Spear.
April 9, 2011: A last-minute deal between both parties averts a partial shutdown of the federal government.
August 2, 2011: The 2011 debt-ceiling crisis ends with the Budget Control Act of 2011.
December 18, 2011: The United States completed its withdrawal of troops from Iraq, formally ending the Iraq War.
January 24, 2012: 2012 State of the Union Address
June 28, 2012: In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act's constitutionality but found the expansion of Medicaid unconstitutionally coercive on the states.
November 6, 2012: 2012 general elections, including:
United States House of Representatives elections, 2012, in which Democrats gained eight seats, but not enough to retake the majority
United States Senate elections, 2012, in which Democrats gained two seats in their majority
United States presidential election, 2012, in which Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term
December 14, 2012: The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting leaves 28 dead, and prompts debate on gun control in the United States.
January 1, 2013: United States fiscal cliff avoided. (See American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012)
A failure to pass a 2011 federal budget nearly led to a shutdown of non-essential government services on April 9, 2011, with the furlough of 800,000 government employees appearing imminent. President Obama met Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner in the days preceding the deadline but was unable to come to an agreement to pass a budget. A one-week budget was proposed to avoid a government shutdown and allow more time for negotiations; however, proposals from both parties could not be accommodated. Obama said he would veto a proposed Republican budget over Republican social spending cuts. This was also backed by Senate Democrats who objected to such cuts as that of Planned Parenthood. However, an agreement was reached between the two parties for a one-week budget to allow for more time to negotiate after Republicans dropped their stance on the Planned Parenthood issue. The two parties ultimately agreed on a 2011 federal budget the following week.
There were many reactions to the possible shutdown with some saying the economy could be hurt during a fragile recovery and others saying the lack of an unnecessary bureaucracy would not be noticed. There was also criticism that while senators and representatives would continue to get paid others such as the police and military personnel would either not be paid for their work or have their payments deferred.
On August 2, 2011, the United States public debt was projected to reach its statutory maximum. Without an increase in that limit the U.S. Treasury would be unable to borrow money to pay its bills. Although previous statutory increases have been routine, conservative members of the House refused to allow an increase without drastically reducing government spending. Over several weeks and months, negotiators from both parties, both houses, and the White House worked to forge a compromise. The compromise bill, the Budget Control Act of 2011, was enacted on August 2.April 15, 2011: 2011 United States federal budget (as Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011), Pub.L. 112–10
August 2, 2011: Budget Control Act of 2011, Pub.L. 112–25
September 16, 2011: Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, Pub.L. 112–29
October 21, 2011: United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, Pub.L. 112–41
October 21, 2011: United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, Pub.L. 112–42
October 21, 2011: United States-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act, Pub.L. 112–43
December 31, 2011: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, Pub.L. 112–81
February 22, 2012: Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub.L. 112–96
March 8, 2012: Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011, Pub.L. 112–98
April 4, 2012: Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK Act), Pub.L. 112–105
April 5, 2012: Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act), Pub.L. 112–106
July 6, 2012: Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21 Act), Pub.L. 112–141
September 28, 2012: Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013, Pub.L. 112–175
November 27, 2012: Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012, Pub.L. 112–199
January 2, 2013: American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, Pub.L. 112–240
American Jobs Act, S. 1549
Cut, Cap and Balance Act, H.R. 2560
Federal Reserve Transparency Act, S. 202, H.R. 459
No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, H.R. 3
PROTECT IP Act, S. 968
Protect Life Act, H.R. 358
Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, H.R. 2
Respect for Marriage Act, S. 598, H.R. 1116
Stop Online Piracy Act, H.R. 3261
See also: Active Legislation, 112th Congress, via senate.gov
Resignations and new members are discussed in the "Changes in membership" section, below.
[ Section contents: Senate: Majority (D), Minority (R) • House: Majority (R), Minority (D) ]President: Joe Biden (D)
President pro tempore:
Daniel Inouye (D), until December 17, 2012
Patrick Leahy (D), from December 17, 2012
Majority Leader and Caucus Chair: Harry Reid
Assistant Majority Leader (Majority Whip): Dick Durbin
Caucus Vice Chair and Policy Committee Chair: Chuck Schumer
Senatorial Campaign Committee Chair and Caucus Secretary: Patty Murray
Policy Committee Vice Chair: Debbie Stabenow
Steering and Outreach Committee Chair: Mark Begich
Steering and Outreach Committee Vice Chair: Daniel Akaka
Chief Deputy Whip: Barbara Boxer
Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell
Assistant Minority Leader (Minority Whip): Jon Kyl
Lamar Alexander, until 2012
John Thune, from 2012
Policy Committee Chairman:
John Thune, until 2012
John Barrasso, from 2012
Conference Vice Chair:
John Barrasso, until 2012
Roy Blunt, from 2012
National Senatorial Committee Chair: John Cornyn
Deputy Whips: Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Mike Crapo, Saxby Chambliss, Rob Portman, Olympia Snowe, David Vitter, Roger Wicker
Speaker: John Boehner (R)
Majority Leader: Eric Cantor
Majority Whip: Kevin McCarthy
Majority Chief Deputy Whip: Peter Roskam
Conference Chair: Jeb Hensarling
Campaign Committee Chairman: Pete Sessions
Policy Committee Chairman: Tom Price
Conference Vice-Chair: Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Conference Secretary: John Carter
Campaign Committee Deputy Chairman: Greg Walden
Minority Leader: Nancy Pelosi
Minority Whip: Steny Hoyer
Assistant Democratic Leader: Jim Clyburn
Senior Chief Deputy Minority Whip: John Lewis
Chief Deputy Minority Whips: Maxine Waters, Jim Matheson, Ed Pastor, Jan Schakowsky, Joseph Crowley, Diana DeGette, G. K. Butterfield, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Peter Welch
Caucus Chairman: John B. Larson
Caucus Vice-Chairman: Xavier Becerra
Campaign Committee Chairman: Steve Israel
Steering/Policy Committee Co-Chairs: Rosa DeLauro and George Miller
Organization, Study, and Review Chairman: Mike Capuano
For the first time in congressional history, over half its members were millionaires as of 2012; Democrats had a median net worth of $1.04 million, while the Republicans median was "almost exactly" $1.00 million.
[ Section contents: Senate, House, Joint ]Deficit Reduction (Select)— Co-chairs: Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R), Sen. Patty Murray (D)
Economic— Chair: Sen. Bob Casey (D), Ranking: Rep. Kevin Brady (R)
Inaugural Ceremonies (Special)— Chair: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D), Ranking: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R)
The Library— Chair: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D), Ranking: Rep. Gregg Harper (R)
Printing— Chair: Rep. Gregg Harper (R), Ranking: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D)
Taxation— Chair: Rep. Dave Camp (R), Ranking: Sen. Max Baucus (D)
Architect of the Capitol: Stephen T. Ayers
Attending Physician of the United States Congress: Brian Monahan
Comptroller General of the United States: Eugene Louis Dodaro
Director of the Congressional Budget Office: Douglas W. Elmendorf
Librarian of Congress: James H. Billington
Public Printer of the United States: William J. Boarman
Chaplain: Barry C. Black
Curator: Diane K. Skvarla
Historian: Richard A. Baker
Parliamentarian: Alan Frumin
Secretary: Nancy Erickson
Sergeant at Arms: Terrance W. Gainer
Secretary for the Majority: Gary B. Myrick
Secretary for the Minority: David J. Schiappa
Chaplain: Daniel Coughlin (Roman Catholic), until April 14, 2011Patrick J. Conroy (Roman Catholic), from May 25, 2011
Chief Administrative Officer: Daniel J. Strodel
Clerk: Karen L. Haas
Historian: Matthew Wasniewski
Parliamentarian: John V. Sullivan
Reading Clerks: Susan Cole and Joseph Novotny
Sergeant at Arms: Wilson Livingood, until January 17, 2012Paul D. Irving from January 17, 2012
Inspector General: Theresa M. Grafenstine