“this year the faces look different–more diverse, more female”
Original Source: The Guardian
Among the historic class of new congresspeople who took the oath of office in the US House of Representatives on Thursday are the first Native American women, the first Muslim women, the first black women elected from Massachusetts and Connecticut, the first Hispanic women elected from Texas, and the youngest woman to be elected to Congress.
There is a former NFL linebacker, a doctor and a climate scientist. There are a number of former members of the military and intelligence services, many of them women. There are seasoned veterans of past presidential administrations and a handful of political neophytes who never held office before running for Congress in 2018.
A record 102 women were sworn into the House on Thursday, 35 of whom were elected for the first time in November in a historic wave of success for female candidates.
“We’re in the building. Swearing in tomorrow,” the congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York captioned a photograph of her and five incoming female colleagues, posing in the US Capitol.
The arrival of this large new group will significantly alter the balance of power in Washington, where the federal government is currently paralysed by a shutdown stretching into its 13th day.
Democrats regained control of the House on Thursday eight years after losing power. Their takeover was fuelled by 63 Democrats whose victories in the November midterm elections helped the party win by the largest margins since the Watergate scandal in 1974.
Nancy Pelosi reclaimed her former title as speaker of the House. She made history in 2007 as the first woman to hold the position, before handing over the gavel when the GOP won the House in 2011. The Republicans will be led by Kevin McCarthy of California.
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