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CRM 1500-1999

1603. Member Of Congress -- Defined

A Member of Congress has been defined as "one who is a component part of the Senate or House of Representatives . . . one who is sharing the responsibilities and privileges of membership." United States v. Dietrich, 126 F. 676, 681 (8th Cir. 1904). It is the Criminal Division's view that the membership of Congress includes not only the presently constituted membership of one hundred Senators and four hundred thirty-five Representatives, but also those representatives or delegates for special geographical divisions who are extended the privileges of membership, such as the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico and the Non-Voting Delegate from the District of Columbia. See Act of September 1970, Pub. L. 91-405, Title II, § 202(a), 84 Stat. 845 (Non-Voting Delegate from the District of Columbia to have privileges granted to Representative).

Note: While, in the Criminal Division's view, the Vice President would be classified as a Member of Congress, any prosecutions for incidents involving this official should be pursued under 18 U.S.C. § 1751, the Presidential assassination statute, so as to allow use of the more liberal assault provisions and reward provision contained in that statute.

[cited in JM 9-65.700]