Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

72nd United States Congress

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Senate President  Charles Curtis (R)
House Speaker  John N. Garner (D)
House Majority  Democratic
Senate Pres. pro tem  George H. Moses (R)
Senate Majority  Republican
72nd United States Congress

Members  96 Senators 435 Representatives 5 Non-voting members

The Seventy-second 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. It met in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1931 to March 4, 1933, during the last two years of Herbert C. Hoover's presidency. The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the Thirteenth Decennial Census of the United States in 1910. The Senate had a Republican majority, and the House had a Democratic majority.


Major events

  • Ongoing: Great Depression
  • January 12, 1932: Hattie Wyatt Caraway of Arkansas became the first woman elected to the United States Senate. (Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia had been appointed to fill a vacancy in 1922; the 87-year-old Felton served one day as a Senator.) Caraway had won a special election to fill the remaining months of the term of her late husband, Senator Thaddeus Caraway. She won re-election to a full term in 1932 and again in 1938 and served in the Senate until January 1945.
  • July 28, 1932: Bonus Army was dispersed.
  • November 8, 1932: United States elections, 1932:
  • United States presidential election, 1932: Incumbent Republicans Herbert Hoover and Charles Curtis lost to Democrats Franklin Roosevelt as President, and John Nance Garner as Vice President.
  • United States Senate elections, 1932: Democrats gained 12 seats for a 59–36 majority.
  • United States House of Representatives elections, 1932: Democrats gained 97 seats for a 313–117 majority.
  • Major legislation

  • January 22, 1932: Reconstruction Finance Corporation Act, Sess. 1, ch. 8, 47 Stat. 5
  • March 23, 1932: Norris-LaGuardia Act, Sess. 1, ch. 90, 47 Stat. 70
  • June 6, 1932: Revenue Act of 1932, Sess. 1, ch. 209, 47 Stat. 169
  • July 22, 1932: Federal Home Loan Bank Act, Sess. 1, ch. 522, 47 Stat. 725
  • March 3, 1933: Buy American Act, Sess. 2, ch. 212, title III, 47 Stat. 1520
  • Not enacted

  • Patman Bonus Bill
  • Constitutional amendments

  • February 20, 1933: 21st Amendment, to repeal prohibition, was proposed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification.
  • 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.


  • President: Charles Curtis (R)
  • President pro tempore: George H. Moses (R)
  • Majority (Republican)

  • Majority Leader: James E. Watson (R)
  • Majority Whip: Simeon D. Fess (R)
  • Republican Conference Secretary: Frederick Hale
  • Minority (Democratic)

  • Minority Leader: Joseph T. Robinson (D)
  • Minority Whip: Morris Sheppard (D)
  • Democratic Caucus Secretary: Hugo Black
  • House of Representatives

    Republican Nicholas Longworth had served as Speaker in the previous Congress. He would have been re-elected as Speaker in this Congress had the House convened in March 1931, when Republicans had a tiny 3-seat majority. By December 7, 1931, when the first session of the Congress began, Democrats gained enough seats through deaths and special elections to take control and elect one of their own as Speaker. Longworth himself died on April 9, 1931, during this time between the beginning of the Congress and its first session.

  • Speaker: John N. Garner (D)
  • Majority (Democratic)

  • Majority Leader: Henry T. Rainey (D)
  • Majority Whip: John McDuffie (D)
  • Democratic Caucus Chairman: William W. Arnold
  • Democratic Campaign Committee Chairman: Joseph W. Byrns Sr.
  • Minority (Republican)

  • Minority Leader: Bertrand H. Snell (R)
  • Minority Whip: Carl G. Bachmann (R)
  • Republican Conference Chair: Willis C. Hawley
  • Members

    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.


  • Replacements: 8
  • No net gains for either party
  • Deaths: 6
  • Resignations: 3
  • Interim appointments: 4
  • Total seats with changes: 11
  • House of Representatives

  • replacements: 23
  • Democratic: 6 seat net gain
  • Republican: 6 seat net loss
  • Deaths: 24
  • Resignations: 7
  • Contested election: 1
  • Total seats with changes: 32
  • Committees

    Lists of committees and their party leaders.


  • Agriculture and Forestry
  • Air Mail and Ocean Mail Contracts (Special)
  • Alaska Railroad (Special Select)
  • Appropriations
  • Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses of the Senate
  • Banking and Currency
  • Campaign Expenditures (Select)
  • Civil Service
  • Claims
  • Commerce
  • Depreciation of Foreign Currencies (Select)
  • District of Columbia
  • Education and Labor
  • Enrolled Bills
  • Expenditures in Executive Departments
  • Immigration
  • Immigration and Naturalization
  • Finance
  • Foreign Relations
  • Indian Affairs
  • Interoceanic Canals
  • Interstate Commerce
  • Judiciary
  • Library
  • Manufactures
  • Military Affairs
  • Mines and Mining
  • Mississippi Flood Control Project (Select)
  • Naval Affairs
  • Patents
  • Pensions
  • Post Office Leases (Select)
  • Post Office and Post Roads
  • Printing
  • Privileges and Elections
  • Public Buildings and Grounds
  • Public Lands and Surveys
  • Reconstruction Finance Corporation (Select)
  • Rules
  • Senatorial Campaign of 1930 (Select)
  • Territories and Insular Affairs
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Whole
  • Wildlife Resources (Special)
  • House of Representatives

  • Accounts
  • Agriculture
  • Appropriations
  • Banking and Currency
  • Census
  • Civil Service
  • Claims
  • Coinage, Weights and Measures
  • Disposition of Executive Papers
  • District of Columbia
  • Education
  • Election of the President, Vice President and Representatives in Congress
  • Elections
  • Enrolled Bills
  • Expenditures in the Executive Departments
  • Flood Control
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Immigration and Naturalization
  • Indian Affairs
  • Insular Affairs
  • Interstate and Foreign Commerce
  • Invalid Pensions
  • Irrigation and Reclamation
  • Labor
  • Memorials
  • Merchant Marine and Fisheries
  • Military Affairs
  • Mines and Mining
  • Naval Affairs
  • Patents
  • Pensions
  • Post Office and Post Roads
  • Public Buildings and Grounds
  • Public Lands
  • Revision of Laws
  • Rivers and Harbors
  • Roads
  • Rules
  • Standards of Official Conduct
  • Territories
  • War Claims
  • Ways and Means
  • Whole
  • Joint committees

  • Conditions of Indian Tribes (Special)
  • Disposition of (Useless) Executive Papers
  • The Library
  • Taxation
  • Veterans' Affairs
  • Employees

  • Architect of the Capitol: David Lynn
  • Attending Physician of the United States Congress: George Calver
  • Comptroller General of the United States: John R. McCarl
  • Librarian of Congress: Herbert Putnam
  • Public Printer of the United States: George H. Carter
  • Senate

  • Chaplain: ZeBarney T. Phillips (Episcopalian)
  • Secretary: Edwin P. Thayer
  • Sergeant at Arms: David S. Barry
  • Democratic Party Secretary: Edwin A. Halsey
  • Republican Party Secretary: Carl A. Loeffler
  • House of Representatives

  • Chaplain: James S. Montgomery (Methodist)
  • Clerk: South Trimble
  • Doorkeeper: Joseph J. Sinnott
  • Parliamentarian: Lewis Deschler
  • Postmaster: Finis E. Scott
  • Sergeant at Arms: Kenneth Romney
  • References

    72nd United States Congress Wikipedia