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.
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). It was also the first Congress since the 36th Congress, over 150 years, in which the Republican Party held the House but not the Senate. In this Congress, the House of Representatives had the largest number of Republican members, 242, since the 80th Congress (1947–1949). This was the first, and thus far only, Congress since the 79th (1945-1947) that did not include a member of the Kennedy family.
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.
For the first time in the history of Congress, over half its members were millionaires as of 2012; Democrats had a mediannet worth of $1.04 million, while the Republicans median was "almost exactly" $1.00 million. In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 2012; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 2014; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 2016.
Party membership by state
1 Democrat and 1 Republican
1 Independent (caucuses with Democrats) and 1 Democrat
A 2011 special election filled the vacancy in California's 36th congressional district after the resignation of incumbent Jane Harman on February 28, 2011; Harman vacated her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives to become head of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.The special primary election occurred on May 17, 2011. Democrat Janice Hahn received the highest number of votes, with Republican Craig Huey taking second place. Because no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary, a special general election was held on July 12, 2011, between the top two vote recipients. The runoff election was won by Janice Hahn.
On September 13, 2011, a special election was held in Nevada's 2nd congressional district to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Republican Dean Heller, who was appointed to the United States Senate.The race was called for Mark Amodei by the Associated Press just after 10 p.m. local time with 44% of precincts reporting and Amodei leading Marshall 57% to 37%. Amodei easily won the election by a margin of 58% to 36%.
A 2011 special election in New York's 9th congressional district was held on September 13, 2011 to fill a seat in the U.S. Congress for New York's 9th congressional district, after Representative Anthony Weiner resigned from this seat on June 21, 2011 due to his sexting scandal. Democratic Party nominee David Weprin, a member of the New York State Assembly, faced Republican and Conservative Party nominee Bob Turner, a businessman who unsuccessfully sought the seat in 2010.
The district with over 300,000 registered voters was expected to be eliminated during the 2012 redistricting. It is strongly Democratic, where registered Democrats out number Republican by a 3-to-1 ratio.Around midnight on September 14, the Associated Press called the race for Republican Bob Turner with 70% of precincts reporting and Turner leading Weprin 53 to 47. Turner is the first Republican Congressman to represent this district in 88 years. The last Republican to represent the district was Andrew Petersen who was elected in the Harding landslide of 1920.
The 2011 State of the Union Address was a speech given by President Barack Obama at 9 p.m. EST on January 25, 2011, in the chamber of the United States House of Representatives. In this joint session Obama outlined his “vision for an America that’s more determined, more competitive, better positioned for the future—an America where we out-innovate, we out-educate, we out-build the rest of the world; where we take responsibility for our deficits; where we reform our government to meet the demands of a new age.”
A 2012 special election in Arizona's 8th congressional district was held on June 12, with primary elections held on April 17, to fill a seat in the United States House of Representatives for Arizona's 8th congressional district until the 112th United States Congress ends on January 3, 2013. The election was caused by the resignation of Representative Gabrielle Giffords on January 25, 2012, to concentrate on recovering from her injuries from the 2011 Tucson shooting. The seat was won by Ron Barber, a former aide to Giffords who was wounded in the attempt on her life.
The 2012 special election in Michigan's 11th congressional district was a special election that took place in Michigan on November 6, 2012, to replace Republican United States Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, who resigned after a failed presidential campaign and a series of scandals. Former autoworker David Curson, the Democratic nominee, narrowly defeated Republican nominee Kerry Bentivolio, a reindeer farmer, to win the seat for the last few months of McCotter's term.
The 2012 special election in New Jersey's 10th congressional district was a special election that took place in New Jersey on November 6, 2012, following the death of Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives Donald M. Payne. Payne's son, Donald Payne Jr., won the Democratic Party primary that was held on June 5, 2012. He also won the Democratic primary (held the same day) for the full term beginning in January 2013.
A 2012 special election in Oregon's 1st congressional district was held on January 31, 2012 to fill a seat in the U.S. Congress for Oregon's 1st congressional district, following the resignation of Representative David Wu. Primary elections were held on November 8, 2011, with the Democrats selecting state senator Suzanne Bonamici and the Republicans selecting businessman Rob Cornilles.Bonamici was declared the winner almost as soon as the ballot deadline expired at 8 pm PST. She carried every county in the district except Yamhill County, which Cornilles won by a seven-point margin.
The 2012 State of the Union Address was a speech given by President Barack Obama, from 9 p.m. to 10:17 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, in the chamber of the United States House of Representatives. In his speech, he focused on education reform, repairing America's infrastructure with money not used on the Iraq War, and creating new energy sources in America.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA; Pub.L. 112–240, H.R. 8, 126 Stat. 2313, enacted January 2, 2013) was passed by the United States Congress on January 1, 2013, and was signed into law by US President Barack Obama the next day.
The Act centers on a partial resolution to the US fiscal cliff by addressing the expiration of certain provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (known together as the "Bush tax cuts"), which had been temporarily extended by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. The Act also addressed the activation of the Budget Control Act of 2011's budget sequestration provisions.
A compromise measure, the Act gives permanence to the lower rate of much of the Bush tax cuts, while retaining the higher tax rate at upper income levels that became effective on January 1 due to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. It also establishes caps on tax deductions and credits for those at upper income levels. It does not tackle federal spending levels to a great extent, rather leaving that for further negotiations and legislation. The American Taxpayer Relief Act passed by a wide majority in the Senate, with both Democrats and Republicans supporting it, while most of the House Republicans opposed it.
The Budget Control Act of 2011 (Pub.L. 112–25, S. 365, 125 Stat. 240, enacted August 2, 2011) is a federal statute enacted by the 112th United States Congress and signed into law by US President Barack Obama on August 2, 2011. The Act brought conclusion to the 2011 US debt-ceiling crisis.
The law involves the introduction of several complex mechanisms, such as creation of the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (sometimes called the "super committee"), options for a balanced budget amendment, and automatic budget sequestration.
There were different but similar copyright bills in the 112th United States Congress: The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House of Representatives and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate. A typical route for legislation like this is to pass some version in both houses (so called companion bills), then refer the two bills to a conference committee, which would produce a single bill likely to pass both houses.
These bills were motivated by concerns of copyright holders that their copyright protection in being undermined by the illegal dissemination of copyrighted information via the Internet. Opponents of the proposed legislation say that the proposed remedies are far worse than the problem they are intended to solve.
The Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act (H.R. 1084, S. 587, dubbed as the FRAC Act) is a legislative proposal in the United States Congress to define hydraulic fracturing as a federally regulated activity under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The proposed act would require the energy industry to disclose the chemical additives used in the hydraulic fracturing fluid. The gas industry opposes the legislation.The bill was introduced to both houses of the 111th United States Congress on June 9, 2009. The House bill was introduced by representatives Diana DeGette, D-Colo., Maurice Hinchey D-N.Y., and Jared Polis, D-Colo. The Senate version was introduced by senators Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. The bill was re-introduced to both houses of the 112th United States Congress on March 15, 2011, by representative Diana DeGette and senator Bob Casey.
This is a complete list of members of the United States Senate during the 112th United States Congress listed by seniority from January 3, 2011, to January 3, 2013. It is a historical listing and will contain people who have not served the entire two-year Congress should anyone resign, die, or be expelled.
Order of service is based on the commencement of the senator's first term. Behind this is former service as a senator (only giving the senator seniority within his or her new incoming class), service as vice president, a House member, a cabinet secretary, or a governor of a state. The final factor is the population of the senator's state.Senators who were sworn in during the middle of the two-year Congress (up until the last senator who was not sworn in early after winning the November 2012 election) are listed at the end of the list with no number.
In the 112th Congress, Tom Harkin is the most senior junior senator, and Jeanne Shaheen is the most junior senior senator.
The acts of the 112th United States Congress includes all Acts of Congress and ratified treaties by the 112th United States Congress, which lasts from January 3, 2011 to January 3, 2013.
Acts include public and private laws, which are enacted after being passed by Congress and signed by the President, however if the President vetos a bill it can still be enacted by a two-thirds vote in both houses. The Senate alone considers treaties, which are ratified by a two-thirds vote.
The 112th Congress, due to its stark polarisation and divided nature of a Democratic Senate and Republican House, passed a record low number of acts; 283 to the 906 passed by the 80th United States Congress, which was historically known as the "Do-nothing Congress". It was the least productive Congress since records began.
The 112th United States Congress began January 3, 2011. There were 13 new senators (one Democrat, 12 Republicans) and 94 new representatives (nine Democrats, 85 Republicans) at the start of its first session.This freshmen was overwhelmingly Republican, resulting in an even larger prevalence of Republican freshmen than during the Republican Revolution of 1994, with approximately 23% of the 47 elected Republican senators and 33% of the 242 elected Republican representatives being first-timers.
The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 3) is a bill that was introduced to the 112th Congress of the United States in the House of Representatives by Rep. Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) and Dan Lipinski (D-Illinois). The bill's stated purpose is "[t]o prohibit taxpayer funded abortions and to provide for conscience protections, and for other purposes." In large measure, it would render permanent the restrictions on federal funding of abortion in the United States laid out in the Hyde Amendment. The bill passed the House of Representatives on May 4, 2011 by a vote of 251-175. The House of Representatives passed similar legislation in 2014, 2015, and 2017.
The Research Works Act, 102 H.R. 3699, was a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives at the 112th United States Congress on December 16, 2011, by Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) and co-sponsored by Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY). The bill contained provisions to prohibit open-access mandates for federally funded research and effectively revert the United States' National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy, which requires taxpayer-funded research to be freely accessible online. If enacted, it would have also severely restricted the sharing of scientific data. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, of which Issa is the chair. Similar bills were introduced in 2008 and 2009 but have not been enacted since.On February 27, 2012 Elsevier, a major publisher, announced that it was withdrawing support for the Act. Later that day, Issa and Maloney issued a statement saying that they would not push for legislative action on the bill.
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