What is the process by which offices in Washington are assigned to US congress members? [i.e. which building/office in that building they are assigned to]

I assume it is the case like most work-places that more senior people tend to get better offices, but also guess that there must a system to it?

2 Answers 2


They request them and seniority wins (at least when the office is open and available). So if the representative with the best office leaves, the most senior representative who wants that office gets it. Then that person's office is available. So on and so forth until you get to new members, who are all tied in seniority. They hold a lottery and pick in that order to resolve ties.

Alternate source: http://blogs.rollcall.com/hill-blotter/new-members-of-congress-flip-for-office-selection/

  • Sounds like how we pick desks in my office. Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 14:46

It depends on the chamber. The Senate has strict order of seniority rules for members. All 100 members are ordinally ranked. That ranking determines office space picks.

The House Superintendent is responsible for office space assignments. He uses a combination of lottery and seniority for office space.

In the House the Rayburn building (newest) is generally considered the best location and Cannon (oldest) is the worst. However, the Canon and Longworth buildings have irregular floor plans so there are some highly desirable locations in both buildings.

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