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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Leaving Congress: House of Representatives and Senate Departures Data Since 1989

Jennifer E. Manning
Information Research Specialist

R. Eric Petersen
Specialist in American National Government

Members of Congress leave the House or Senate for a variety of reasons; these may include resignation, death, or chamber action during a Congress, and retirement, electoral defeat, or pursuit of another office at the end of a Congress. In the 101st Congress (1989-1990) through 112th Congress (2011-2012), on average, two Senators and nine Members of the House of Representatives have left before the conclusion of a Congress. Over the same period, on average, 11 Senators and 61 Members of the House left Congress upon expiration of their terms of office. This report also provides data on those Members who have announced an intention to retire at the completion of the 113th Congress (2013-2014).

The data provided here may offer insight concerning the turnover of membership in each chamber, but any such conclusions should be drawn with care, as there appears to be no pattern to Member departures. This may be due in part to the individualized nature of congressional careers, which might include numerous events or actions that could affect Members’ decisions to end their congressional service.

Detailed information regarding 113
th Congress departures is available at resources/Pages/Congress_113_departures.aspx.

Date of Report: June 26, 2013
Number of Pages: 9
Order Number: R41428
Price: $19.95

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