The Nation's John Nichols on the newly sworn in 113th Congress: The House now has 81 women, 61 of them Democrats, while the new Senate includes 20 women. There will be 44 African Americans in the House and one in the Senate. The Congress also includes nine new Latino members, making it the largest Latino class in history with 28 House seats and three Senate seats, two of whom are Republican. The new Congress also includes the first openly gay senator, Democrat Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, and the first open bisexual representative, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, as well as more religious diversity with two two Buddhists, a Hindu and several Muslims. For the first time, white men will be a minority among House Democrats. "We have to be very very cautious about presuming that simply having a more diverse Congress means we're going to get better results," notes Nichols, who stresses the importance of filibuster reform which lawmakers are expected to address in the coming weeks.
Published on Jan 4, 2013