Surprising Things You Never Knew About the House of Representatives

We know it’s the lower house of Congress and that it helps make laws, but, for many of us, that might be the extent of what we know about the House of Representatives. It’s a shame, really. The Senate is stodgy and boring and the Supreme Court is just way too exclusive (though it has its surprises, too). The president is, well, the president, but the House is where it’s at. They’re the hip, happening ones. The bold and brash ideologues of American government and, frankly, things get way more interesting there than anywhere else on the Hill. Don’t believe us? Just check out these fifteen facts you never knew about our esteemed public servants, and then maybe give your rep a call.

1. The House decides the presidency if nobody wins an electoral majority

The presidential seal on a podium
US presidential seal | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

According to the Constitution, if no candidate in a presidential election wins a majority of the electoral votes, the decision goes to the House of Representatives. Since the ratification of the twelfth amendment — the one that designates separate ballots for president and vice-president and keeps mortal enemies from having to serve together in the White House — the House has only had to decide an election once. In 1825 they awarded the presidency to John Quincy Adams over an enraged Andrew Jackson.

Next: The House hits the small screen

More from Showbiz Cheat Sheet