2019 brings with it a new slew of Congressmen. The 116th Congress is easily the most diverse group of lawmakers our nation has ever seen. The biggest change to Capitol Hill is how many women of color are now working in the House and Senate chambers. Below is a quick outline of what changes were made to the legislative branch in the most recent election.
Leaders of Congress
Mitch McConnell is still the Senate majority leader; Chuck Schumer is still the in charge of Democrats in Congress, retaining his title as Senate minority leader. Democrat Nanci Pelosi has once again been elected House majority leader.
Women in Congress
The 2018 election was a good year for women. In fact, with 102 female members of the House of Representatives, a new record has been set. The prior record was 87 women. The Senate has 25 women serving in its chamber. The Senate may seem like it lacks in female lawmakers; however, there are only 100 members of the Senate. This means that 25% of the Senate is made up of women.
Sheer numbers are not the only way women have won in politics. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Abby Finkenauer are now the youngest woman to ever serve in Congress. Two Muslim-American women were also elected to office – Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. Native American women were also elected. Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland were the first Native Americans ever to be elected to Congress. Massachusetts also elected its first ever black female representative: Ayanna Pressley.
Other Changes in Congress
Climate change is back in the scope of lawmakers. The Green New Deal, which is lead by new representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, intends to put correcting climate change back on the priority list. The most meaningful, substantial change in Congress comes from the House. Democrats once again regained control of the House of Representatives, meaning President Trump may have even harder trouble than before getting his legislation moved through Congress.
What does this mean for the Government Shutdown?
Sadly, this means nothing for the government shutdown. Donald Trump is still demanding to fund for a border wall, and Congressional Democrats are still refusing to give in. The House has already voted to reopen the government twice, passing budget plans; however, Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Senate, has refused to vote on the legislation in the Senate.