Lincoln High School Statesman

The 116th Congress welcomes newly elected members

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The 116th Congress welcomes newly elected members

Members of the 116th Congress are the most diverse in 200 years of lawmaking.

Members of the 116th Congress are the most diverse in 200 years of lawmaking.

Martin Falbisoner

Members of the 116th Congress are the most diverse in 200 years of lawmaking.

Martin Falbisoner

Martin Falbisoner

Members of the 116th Congress are the most diverse in 200 years of lawmaking.

Lauren Teller, Opinion Editor

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On Jan 3, 2019, both houses of Congress convened for the first time during its 116th session. This crop of new members has the greatest race, gender and class diversity ever seen before in Congress’s more than 200 years of lawmaking.

 

The “Pink Wave”

A record number of women were elected into the 116th Congress, the greatest female representation to date. In fact, in the house, congresswomen now make up 102 out of the 435 total representatives. As for the upper house, there are 25 women serving in the Senate out of a 100 total senators. The new class of women also broke many other barriers by being elected.

 

Minority Representation

LGBTQ+, refugees, multi-cultural and members of varying religious affiliations were also elected. Democrats Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota are the first Muslim women elected to serve in Congress. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema became the first female senator elected to represent Arizona. Sinema also made history as the first openly bisexual senator. New Mexico and Kansas sent the first Native American women, representatives Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids.

 

Partisan Control

The Democrats celebrated majority control over the house on Thursday, with Representative Nancy Pelosi being elected as the new speaker of the house. Policies made so far reflect the Democratic agenda, such as a bill proposing a plan to reopen the government without funding for the border wall. Although the bill has yet to pass through the Senate, it is expected to challenge the Republican proposed budget, with Trump also intending to veto the legislation.

As for the Senate, the Republicans have majority control, with Mitch McConnell serving as the majority leader and South Dakota’s Senator John Thune serving as the majority whip leader. The party lost its complete control over Congress this session, as they lost majority control over the house.

Congress is slowly becoming more representative of the American people, and it is showing; there are almost too many firsts achieved to name The new generation and demographics will inherit the problems of past classes of Congress, but will surely not handle policy making in the same manner.

GoldRingChip
The House has 435 members in total.

GoldRingChip
The 116th Senate has 100 senators in total.

 

Author
Lauren Teller, Opinion Editor

Lauren Teller is a junior and second-year Statesman staff member. Aside from her time spent hanging out in the j-lab, Lauren is an active member of the...

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