*The newly sworn-in 113th Congress is the most diverse group of representatives in history, reflecting changing demographics and changing public attitudes.
According to CNN, 98 women, 43 African-Americans, 31 Latinos, 12 Asian-American and Pacific Islanders, and seven gay and bisexual members are now new members of the House and Senate. Plus, there is the first Buddhist member in the Senate and Hindu member in the House of Representatives.
“It means that we reflect America more,” said newly elected Rep. Tammy Duckwork, an Illinois Democrat. “And it is good to see Congress starting to look more like the rest of America.”
Duckworth, a double-amputee veteran of the Iraq War, is one of the historic number of Asian-Americans elected and joins the record number of women inducted, along with new Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
“Here is the first woman from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Warren said to cheers from her supporters.
And the new members are not the only ones making history. Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski will serve as the first female chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee and Nancy Pelosi has returned to her role as that chamber’s Democratic leader.
But the diversity is not exclusive to the Democrats.
Republican Tim Scott became the first African-American from the South to serve in the Senate since Reconstruction, and Ted Cruz, who is Cuban-American, was elected to the Senate. Both were supported by the Tea Party.
“It is an incredible day and a testament to the power of the grass roots and the power of the people,” Cruz told CNN.
There is also more representation of the gay and lesbian community in the Congress.
Democrat Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin was sworn-in as the first openly gay U.S. Senator. On the other side of the Capitol, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) is the first openly bi-sexual member of the House.
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