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Who Are the 6 Members of the U.S. Congress Not Allowed to Vote?

Thelma is an award winning non-fiction writer who enjoys writing about people and events in American history.

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The House of Representatives of the United States Congress is comprised of 441 members, however, only 435 of them are allowed to vote. The 6 non-voting delegates represent the following US territories:

  • Puerto Rico
  • American Samoa
  • Guam
  • The Northern Mariana Islands
  • The US Virgin Islands
  • Washington, DC

Although not allowed to vote, they are permitted to participate as members of committees and they can introduce legislation. They earn the same yearly salary as other members of Congress, $174,000.

Puerto Rico's Resident Commissioner

Puerto Rico's member of the House of Representatives is known as a "Resident Commissioner". Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon has served in this position since 2015 and is a member of the Republican political party. Born in 1976, she is the youngest Resident Commissioner in history and the first female.

On June 27, 2018, Gonzalez-Colon introduced Congressional Bill H.R.6246 which would make the territory of Puerto Rico the 51st state.

She serves on the following House Committees:

  • Natural Resources
  • Small Business
  • Veterans' Affairs
Puerto Rico's Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon

Puerto Rico's Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon

American Samoa's Delegate

Aumua Amata is the Congressional Delegate from American Samoa. Born in 1947, Amata is a member of the Republican Party and has served in Congress since 2015. She was a member of the Executive Committee for the 2016–17 Presidential Transition Team.

A 25-year cancer survivor, Amata has served as a spokesperson for the Samoan Women's Health Project to promote cancer awareness and bring mammography to American Samoa.

Amata serves on the following House committees:

  • Small Business
  • Veterans' Affairs
Aumua Amata, Representative for American Samoa

Aumua Amata, Representative for American Samoa

Delegate from Guam

Guam's current delegate to the House of Representatives is Democrat Madeleine Z. Bordallo who has served in that capacity since 2003. Her major priorities have included the military, aid to Guam's small businesses and environmental issues. Born in Graceville, Minnesota in 1933, she moved to Guam at a young age.

Congresswoman Bordallo serves on the following House committees:

  • Natural Resources
  • Armed Services
Madeleine Bordallo, Delegate to House of Representatives from Guam

Madeleine Bordallo, Delegate to House of Representatives from Guam

Gregorio Sablan, Delegate of the Northern Mariana Islands

The distinguished Democrat delegate of the Northern Mariana Islands, Gregorio Sablan, is currently in his 5th term in Congress after being initially elected in 2009. He has actively participated in the passage of legislation to increase funding to Northern Mariana Islands schools and to the Commonwealth Healthcare Center.

Sablan serves on the following House committees:

  • Natural Resources
  • Veterans' Affairs
  • Education and Workforce
Northern Mariana Islands' Representative Gregorio Sablan

Northern Mariana Islands' Representative Gregorio Sablan

Stacey Plaskett, Congressional Delegate of the United States Virgin Islands

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1966, Democrat Stacey Plaskett is an African-Caribbean attorney who is said to have a keen understanding of Caribbean economic development. She is a member of the Congressional Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. As a private citizen, she is involved in several non-profit organizations with a focus on education.

Delegate Plaskett won her congressional seat in 2014 with 90% of the vote and won re-election in 2016 with an astonishing 98%.

She serves on the following House committees:

  • Oversight and Government Reform
  • Agriculture
  • Transportation and Infrastructure
Stacey Plaskett, Representative from the US Virgin Islands

Stacey Plaskett, Representative from the US Virgin Islands

District of Columbia Congressional Delegate

Eleanor Holmes Norton serves in Congress representing the District of Columbia. Her experience includes acting as Chairwoman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under both Presidents Carter and Reagan. She is a member of the Democratic political party who won her seat in Congress in 1991 and has been reelected to represent the District of Columbia every 2 years since.

In 1998, Norton rallied against the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

In 2014, she co-sponsored a Congressional bill to take away the National Football League's tax-exempt status until the organization forces a name change of a team that is considered to be a racial slur, the Washington Redskins.

She is featured in a feminist history film, She's Beautiful When She's Angry.

Congresswoman Norton serves on the following House committees:

  • Oversight and Government Reform
  • Transportation and Infrastructure
Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia Congressional Delegate

Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia Congressional Delegate

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2018 Thelma Raker Coffone

Comments

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on July 26, 2018:

I really enjoyed this article. I was aware that the D.C. representative could not vote, but I had not given any thought that there might be other members who did not have voting privileges. In fact in the 30 years I spent working with a state agency that prepares laws for publishing, the subject never came up although we had some dealings with Puerto and the Virgin Islands. Funny how that happens. Good for you for bringing up the subject and raising our awareness.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 25, 2018:

I was most interested in the representative from D.C. she seems like a very impressive woman.