80th United States Congress

The Eightieth 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, DC from January 3, 1947, to January 3, 1949, during the third and fourth years of Harry Truman's presidency. The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the Sixteenth Census of the United States in 1940. Republicans gained a majority in both chambers for this Congress having gained thirteen Senate seats and fifty-seven House seats. Although the 80th Congress passed a total of 906 public bills,[1] President Truman nicknamed it the "Do Nothing Congress" and, during the 1948 election, campaigned as much against it as against his formal opponent, Thomas Dewey. The 80th Congress passed several significant pro-business bills, most famously the Marshall Plan and the Taft–Hartley Act, but it opposed most of Truman's Fair Deal bills. Truman's campaign strategy worked, and the Republicans lost nine Senate seats and seventy-three seats in the House, allowing the Democrats to begin the 81st Congress with twenty-one more seats than they had at the end of the 79th Congress. It also allowed Truman to win a term of his own right as President, having become President after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945.

80th United States Congress
79th ←
→ 81st
January 3, 1947 – January 3, 1949
Senate PresidentVacant
Senate President pro temArthur H. Vandenberg (R)
House SpeakerJoseph William Martin, Jr. (R)
Members96 senators
435 members of the House
3 non-voting delegates
Senate MajorityRepublican
House MajorityRepublican
1st: January 3, 1947 – December 19, 1947
Special: November 17, 1947 – December 19, 1947
2nd: January 6, 1948 – December 31, 1948
Special: July 26, 1948 – August 7, 1948


Major eventsEdit

Major legislationEdit

Constitutional amendmentsEdit

Party summaryEdit

House Chaplain Bernard Braskamp delivering the opening prayer for the 80th Congress, 1947


(shading shows control)
Total Vacant
End of previous congress 53 1 42 96 0
Begin 45 0 51 96 0
Final voting share 46.9% 0.0% 53.1%
Beginning of next congress 54 0 42 96 0

House of RepresentativesEdit

From the beginning to the end of this Congress, there was no net change in party power. The Democrats lost one seat, which remained vacant until the next Congress.

Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Democratic American Labor Progressive Vacant
End of previous Congress 191 236 1 1 429 6
Begin 245 187 1 0 433 2
End 242 186 2 430 5
Final voting share 56.7% 43.1% 0.2% 0.0%
Beginning of the next Congress 171 262 1 0 434 1





Senators are popularly elected statewide 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 2 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 1948; Class 3 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 1950; and Class 1 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 1952.

Percentage of members from each party by state at the opening of the 80th Congress, ranging from dark blue (most Democratic) to dark red (most Republican).

House of RepresentativesEdit

The names of members of the House of Representatives elected statewide 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.

The congressional district numbers are linked to articles describing the district itself. Since the boundaries of the districts have changed often and substantially, the linked article may only describe the district as it exists today, and not as it was at the time of this Congress.

Changes in membershipEdit

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


There were 3 deaths, 2 resignations, and one lost mid-term election.

Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[a]
Theodore Bilbo (D) Died August 21, 1947.
Successor was elected November 17, 1947.
John Stennis (D) November 17, 1947
John Holmes Overton (D) Died May 14, 1948.
Successor was appointed to continue the term.
William C. Feazel (D) May 18, 1948
South Dakota
Harlan Bushfield (R) Died September 27, 1948.
Successor was appointed to finish the term.
Vera Bushfield (R) October 6, 1948
South Dakota
Vera Bushfield (R) Interim appointee resigned December 26, 1948.
Successor was appointed to finish the term.
Karl Earl Mundt (R) December 31, 1948
William C. Feazel (D) Interim appointee retired when successor elected.
Successor was elected December 31, 1948.
Russell B. Long (D) December 31, 1948
North Carolina
William Umstead (D) Interim appointee lost election to finish the term.
Successor was elected December 31, 1948.
Melville Broughton (D) December 31, 1948

House of RepresentativesEdit

There were 9 deaths and 7 resignations.

District Vacator Reason for change Successor Date of successor's
formal installation[a]
Vacant John Sparkman resigned in previous Congress after being elected to the US Senate Robert E. Jones, Jr. (D) Seated January 28, 1947
Vacant Robert K. Henry died during previous Congress Glenn R. Davis (R) Seated April 22, 1947
Fred Norman (R) Died April 18, 1947 Russell Mack (R) Seated June 7, 1947
Charles Gerlach (R) Died May 5, 1947 Franklin Lichtenwalter (R) Seated September 9, 1947
Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr. (D) Resigned May 16, 1947, after being elected Mayor of Baltimore Edward Garmatz (D) Seated July 15, 1947
Fred Bradley (R) Died May 24, 1947 Charles Potter (R) Seated August 26, 1947
Joseph J. Mansfield (D) Died July 12, 1947 Clark W. Thompson (D) Seated August 23, 1947
R. Ewing Thomason (D) Resigned July 31, 1947, after being appointed as a judge of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas Kenneth M. Regan (D) Seated August 23, 1947
Charles Gifford (R) Died August 23, 1947 Donald Nicholson (R) Seated November 18, 1947
Raymond S. Springer (R) Died August 28, 1947 Ralph Harvey (R) Seated November 4, 1947
Robert Franklin Jones (R) Resigned September 2, 1947, to become a member of the Federal Communications Commission William M. McCulloch (R) Seated November 4, 1947
New York
Leo Rayfiel (D) Resigned September 13, 1947, having been appointed a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York Abraham Multer (D) Seated November 4, 1947
George E. Howell (R) Resigned October 5, 1947, after being appointed judge of the US Court of Claims Vacant until next Congress
Patrick Drewry (D) Died December 21, 1947 Watkins Abbitt (D) Seated February 17, 1948
New York
Benjamin J. Rabin (D) Resigned December 31, 1947 Leo Isacson (AL) Seated February 17, 1948
Earle Clements (D) Resigned January 6, 1948, to become Governor of Kentucky John Whitaker (D) Seated April 17, 1948
John Robsion (R) Died February 17, 1948 William Lewis (R) Seated April 24, 1948
Orville Zimmerman (D) Died April 7, 1948 Paul Jones (D) Seated November 2, 1948
Lindsay Almond (D) Resigned April 17, 1948, having been elected Attorney General of Virginia Clarence Burton (D) Seated November 2, 1948
Thomas L. Owens (R) Died June 7, 1948 Vacant until next Congress
Noble J. Johnson (R) Resigned July 1, 1948, after being appointed as judge of US Court of Customs & Patent Appeals Vacant until next Congress
Milton H. West (D) Died October 28, 1948 Lloyd Bentsen (D) Seated December 4, 1948
New York
John Delaney (D) Died November 18, 1948 Vacant until next Congress
South Dakota
Karl E. Mundt (R) Resigned December 30, 1948, after being appointed to the U.S. Senate Vacant until next Congress


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 (4 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


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.

External linksEdit

  • House of Representatives Session Calendar for the 80th Congress (PDF).
  • Official Congressional Directory for the 80th Congress, 1st Session.
  • Official Congressional Directory for the 80th Congress, 1st Session (Revision).
  • Official Congressional Directory for the 80th Congress, 2nd Session.
  • Official Congressional Directory for the 80th Congress, 2nd Session (Revision).