By Jim Acosta, CNN National Political Correspondent
Washington (CNN) - The newly sworn-in 113th Congress is the most diverse group of representatives in history, reflecting changing demographics and changing public attitudes.
The New America: What the election teaches us about ourselves
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.
By the numbers: 113th Congress
Baldwins comment on Hagel...... she's only concerned about what he said about a gay person 12 years ago.
We didn't elect you to be a gay pride politician. We elected you to do the peoples business.....NOT your own.
Qualify or disqualify him on foreign policy not your back yard issue
Diversity, a word more offensive than the F word. I don't care what these people look like, dress like, who they sleep with or what tribe they belong to. I just want them to WORK!
The nation's first female native American was sworn in yesterday. No mention of that. Why?
The diversity shows up in their inability to get things done.
Any member of the house or the senate born south of the Mason-Dixon line should be forced to resign.
hmm, anybody that votes should be fed to babies..
That makes about as much sense as your ignorant comment
What, no transgender reps?
Wait until Saturday night
Double your chances on a Saturday night
This country is going to hell quickly. Why does it always have to turn into a racial issue? Whites are going to be ran out of this country that they founded.
Yup, they am.....
Yes whites founded this country on the basis that "All men are created equal" and are free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. So when whites are surpassed in numbers those same values are what we (minorities – soon to be majorities) will fight to uphold for everyone. I came to this country with the belief that I will be treated fairly and be given equal opportunity. I bought into the whole idea of AMERICA – The land of the Free. I have served and retired from the US Armed Forces. I would gladly bleed to keep the stripes RED. I don't believe this country is getting worse. On the contrary...I believe it is finally living up to its creed. This is my country. The land that I love.
Some would say that the whites stole the country from the native americans.
The most crooked congress ever. They should all be fired. We need to overthrow this corupt government and start over. American needs a new revolution.
You going to lead it?
Give em a raise. How about with a Ivy-Lift?
Look Mr. Racist white dude, and Racist Black woman Black men are going to date white women no matter what you do or what you say. You can smash the world and leave 8 people left and thee will still be a white woman and black couple in the mix get over it. And yes I do believe that this is all racism is a bout, oh and by the way. Republicans use racist whites as puppets to pass crappy laws, to make it seem like blacks are the only ones getting raped.
You're as racist as they come...and stereotyping a race is racist. disliking interracial dating does not fall under "racism"
You didn't read what I wrote, and clearly dind't understand it. If you dislike intteracial dating yes you are racist, why would you have a problem with two people of a different race dating ha answer that. And please explain to me how what I wrote makes me racst... I don't get, first I told the truth about what I have exprienced and continue to. I also stated that I got it from blacks whites, and many other racist including but limited to by far Asian, and Hispanics. Then I attacked racist white simply because that's what I am seeing on the page, it's a reacition.
I don't want to live in an international nation, I want to live in a country with European culture and traditions. I intend to to move elsewhere.
Been to Europe lately? It's even ore international over there.
113th Congress More Perverse Than Ever? Just correcting the headline.
The more diversity, the more dysfunctionality and special interest confusion. This is nothing to celebrate unless you like chaos and a centralized government built to fail ( which it is). Empower the States and heed Madison`s writings.
Most diverse? I think they meant most Perverse congress ever.
Yes, because having a senate and congress full of white people is so much better than having different demographic areas represented in government.
sorry, but you're wrong. more special interests bring about more conflict
Who elected some of these so called members of Congress – Can you imagine 67 of them voted against the Sandy Relief help – do these people not have a brain at all ? A list of all these 67 turkeys should be published so people know – unreal
As a white guy, I've experienced some degree of racism directed towards me. However, it doesn't compare to the racism I've seen directed by whites towards people of other races. Working for a contractor in DC, but based outside the District, I can assure you that otherwise decent white men are capable of the most horrific racism imaginable. I can also assure you that the "racist" responses that my coworkers have often experienced in majority black areas, are nearly never directed at myself. Perhaps, by not being a white racist, I'm spared from the abuse. If you can't contain your contempt, people will hate you, buddy.
I have dealt with racim all my life from blacks and whites alike, mostly white. These racist whites behave like animals, they behavior toward blacks isn't normal. It is also unexplained, making little to no sense. In the Navy it was a Klan Ralley, at the VA the same, but the Navy was off the wall racist. In Maryland wow, but MO... Lets just say there is no place for someone like you or I Mr Rast in the stat at all.
Wait a minute – a sensible comment? What are you doing here?
Remember to follow the journalistic rule: Democrats of color = Diversity. Republicans of color = Tokenism.
Exactly ....Uncle Tom-ism is alive and well in the blue states.
Unity is strength
The Divider in Chief follows Alinsky, not The Founding Fathers.
Ummm, Sam? If we as humans use our ingenuity and become better problem solvers (which means looking at ideas, issues, and concerns more broadly outside the typical small-mindedness), then diversity can be synonymous with unity.
Sure,, we humans just need to open our minds and then the awesome, unifying, power of Diversity will be revealed.
Thanks for the trite drivel.
You are correct! The lions and cheetahs want the gazelles and zebras to be more 'diverse'. Not gonna work.
DEMOCRACY NOW, WE NEED A CHANGE: No matter the color change of the U.S. Congress, there is now a monarchy in this country of rich people who through their paid agents influence the decisions of legislators with far more power than the voters and that the President of the Union. .
A living example is how the American worker is being blackmailed over his rights and benefits for large corporations, to the point that in the franchise system is a standard that the employer violated federal laws at his will by cash payment system to evade the payment of overtime and if the worker complains it takesoff your hours or reduce hours.
Millions of Americans are working as slaves, no holidays, no paid holidays, no vacation, and other benefits to feed a rich and indolent class which is whomt really is ruling our country.
There are not the Chinese who threaten democracy in the United States of America,instead chinese are those U.S. employers who have implemented systems of work copied from the worst Asian model from despotic countries where it is normal you be a Gunga Dim of the employer., it's time for someone to say the truth about the minimum wage that makes the worker on the verge of a Goodwill or seek assistance in "Children and Family" through these monarchs who really govern DE FACTO America using the legal system for their own benefit and profit.
It's unconscionable and the people need to vote out the "leaders" who have been in their jobs way too long and who are responsible for this mess in which we're now living!
The Republicans will do the best they can to make sure that children and seniors are the lowest of low priority. To vote republican you are saying you could care less if your child has it's head cut off in a bridge collapse, to be a Republican is saying you think Senior citizens should put gun to head end end life, to be a republican you are spitting in the fave of Veterans. Reason for above is Republicans are against bridge repairs, republicans are against Social Security and want to lower it, Republicans want to cut VA hospital funds by 40 percent. BTW, people who say Obama made paychecks smaller. The President didnt vote on the tax bill, the Congress wrote the bill and the house is the one that didnt want to extend the payroll tax. IE Republicans
Republicans do not know that the 1950s are over. Maybe they can watch the movie Pleasantville. Why do they want a Leave it to Beaver world ? Abortion rights wil not be overturned and even if they were to be overturned just stock up on RU-486 or go to Canada or Mexico or Europe to get your legal abortion. Blacks, Hispanics, Women, Gays, and Asians now make up the majority of voters. Muslims ounumber Jews. What does the Republican party not understand.
What a momentous occasion. I can't wait until they get their first envelope full of money from a lobbyist or else get buried on the Senate Committee to Investigate Head Lice. Meanwhile McConnell and the House-Party Gang swagger through the halls blocking everything in sight. "Twas ever thus"!
McConnell has to go, along with the other McSenator (from AZ). These people are killing America and personally enriching themselves to do so! It's time for change in American politics!
We should also expect that the new Congress will be more dysfunctional than ever too. We should also expect that this new Congress will achieve the lowest public approval rating ever.
Only took them 1 day to prove that, good luck folks, gonna be a long ride !!!
THIS IS WELCOME NEWS. HOPE WE BUILD ON THIS TREND- MORE DIVERSE AND MORE EDUCATED SMART WOMEN.
HOPEFULLY, THEY WILL DO BETTER THAN MEN'S CLUB FOR 200 YRS.
But Men's Club gave me my hair back!
Isn't that hair club for men?
How is this news? Who cares what color the people we've elected to represent us are? Who cares what building they worship in or who they share their bed with? I don't, I just want decent people who are going to deal with the massive fiscal issues we face. I want people who understand more government isn't the answer, that the answer is people being allowed to live their lives as they choose.
The people did choose – that's how elections work. They chose politicians who believe government isn't necessarily the problem, and that government has a role in finding solutions. They chose Barack Obama as President, they chose a Democratic majority in the Senate, and a majority chose Democrats in the House (although GOP gerrymandering ensured they kept the House majority).
A hispanics worst enemy is a hispanic. If a hispanic is in congress , they will just turn against all hispanics, and in part i don't blame theme. Have you seen dominican republic, and puerto rico, it's corrupt to the max. The fact remains that America has blessed, and probably even cursed those islands according to the natives.
Yes... the problem is "diverse". Ahhh yeah....that is the problem congress is worried about how "diverse" they are......What a joke. How about congress how much of an AMERICAN you are, or is that to much to ask. Worry about how "AMERICAN" you can be and less "diverse". Oh! and it will always be a CHRISTMAS TREE....GET OVER IT.
What will always be a Christmas Tree? Someone once told me how nice of a Christmas Tree we had next to our house. It was a Spruce Tree, was never in any house, and I expect it may have been planted in the spring or summer. It was never a Christmas Tree. Get over it.
Push the GOP out and you will get what Obama and his brethren want...a socialist nation.
No. Nobody here wants a socialist nation. Go learn what socialism is and you'll see why. What you call socialism isn't so by a million miles.
Socialism is what is happening right now, right here, under your nose.
Actually, aboriginals (inuit) make up the majority of the north pole so unfortunately you'll have to find somewhere else to make a racist home....
Totally agree. GOP sucks and is a part of morons.
All the more reason for "non-diverse" Americans to consider SECESSION as the answer to our problems.
"And we shall call this new state Idi0t Land!!"
More diverse? thats the problem, there are no AMERICANS anymore, only "Groups"
I'm an american citizen and belong to a group. you are too, unless you're a native american indian, (real north americans) we're all americans.
Yes, but too many people put their special little group first and then consider themselves an American. It should be the other way around.
Diverse or not, that picture is full of people who fail us when they are needed most. It's nice to see today that more and more groups of people have a voice and representation. Too bad we are all represented by complete morons
Finally, a sound comment on the insane and diverse comments!
However, the failings are led by the lingering old white men.
You have it exactly right. These people do not begin to represent what the American people want.
They may be more diverse than ever before, but that doesn't make them any less agenda driven and corrupt than they already are.
Wow! You're an incredibly out-of-touch, extraordinarily hateful person!
It comes down to two things: overcoming discrimination and building a network of support. The first is relatively easy. Minority groups haven't faced wide-spread discrimination for decades, just in pockets. However, building a network of support takes several decades to ensure that people grow up in not only a community but a culture that fosters ambitions like running for congress.
Get rid of the two party system. It doesn't work.
Here's hoping that the new members 113th congress are more productive (and less obstructive) than their horrific predecessors. Sadly, the November election did not clean house as much as expected (shocking, considering the last congress' abysmal approval rating and all-time historic low of productivity).
But, as always, one is allowed to hope....
It didn't clean out the Senate as well (which was just as obstructive). Remember, Reid sat on many pieces of legislation that Obama endorsed.
Push the GOP out of power and out of office. Then America will start to heal and grow once again.
Hear hear. Let's have one-party Democrat rule for 50 years. Detroit has paved the way with that model, to serve as an inspiration to us all.
True! And let's not forget Baltimore, Philly, Birmingham, Newark, Atlanta, Chicago etc. etc. etc. One more big flush and these cities will be forever lost. Diversity rules!
Put their pay raises and benefits to a public vote.
What does your comment have to do with this article? Nothing.
More diverse than ever ... and more dysfunctional by the day. Limit terms and once out of the job, off the benefits wagon.
Drop the cushy retirement as well.
Exactly, you got it totally correct! The fact that we let these Democrat and Republican do-nothing morons remain in power for multiple terms spanning decades is shameful and embarrassing. They get so entrenched in power that they wouldn't know average America if it hit them in the face, which I'm sure most average Americans would love to do. I'm with you – maybe 2 Senate terms or 6 House terms max (12 total years), and then they should be back in their home state having to work for a living like everybody else. No lifetime benefits for years of doing nothing in Washington!
Ridiculuos retirement of $300 a month to pay the gas for life like if you won a scrach.That's our life today..
Until the Republicans take back control of their party from the Tea Party and stop being the "mean party", they will continue to lose ground. The American people are tired of party politics in Washington and want Congress to consider the best interest of ALL Americans.
The word "diversity" is a bell ringing. The public are dogs salivating.
I guess diversity doesn't bring unity, imagine that.
Considering their ability to accomplish anything is going downhill at an increasingly higher rate, diversity obviously isn't helping anything except their image in their own minds.
The general populous is disgusted with them.
hahaha...you mean the general populous that voted them in..do you mean the general populous that will be even more diverse next election. that the one your talking about. Get ready for change
I don't know how this new batch could do any worse then the ones they replaced.
Diverse but equally corrupt as all those before them...nothing ever changes...just the faces.
Time for term limits.
term limits.,...I agree lets increase the Presidency position now.. I would vote for that
Diverse? Be precise thats the duty of media. How diverse ethnically, politically,religiously all of the foregoing or none of the foregoing? Yep we have more women in there and I think that's a good thing they know a lot more about managing budgets than any tea partier whose policies would either get us into more debt or make Eurpoean or even Greek austerity measures look like childs play and for sure Increase unemployment levels.
Diversity is Boehner's blue eyes crying.
The rest is Ship Of Fools.
I see a lot of people equating diversity with being liberal, or simply racial in its context; Yet diversity is a broad term used to quantify that of which is not the status-quot. For the first time certain minority groups are gaining representation within both parties. Also, California is the top state in terms of GDP, and is one of the most lucrative economies in the world. An agricultural and pop culture epicenter.
California has cities going bankrupt.
Don't forget the part about California being broke. There was a discussion just last night about government offices having to close early. Some as early as 1:00 PM simply because of no money. The threat of bringing the state's legal system to a stand-still is on the horizon.
The California Dream has been over for decades. It's a cesspool now. Non-cultural epicenter.
Diversity means bull. Talent is what defines a job position, not the color of skin. CNN is purely racist, choosing skin color over talent.
I see no rationale for your claim.
Jay, how does talent define a job position? So, senator Cruz from texas is a senator today because of his talent in being ignorant about the economy? If talent is the only determinant of a job position most republicans should be jobless for lacking the talent to understand economics.
diversity is not a strength
Reality says it too.
"Diverity is not a strength"
Found on page 27 of the KKK Bible
Remember new representatives of Congress and The Senate, if you fall in line with the Republicans who want to destroy our country, You will only have a four year run, we will vote you out of office if you do not work for the people, That is your only job! It is what you were elected for!!!
Why should they fear YOU? You obviously don't vote. You don't even know that Senators serve for 6 years, and Representatives for 2 years.
PG, what can you expect from idiotic partisan zealots like the above poster? These Democratic and Republican ultra-wingers never let facts and reality get in the way of a good partisan jab!
Mathew please.. zealots, fascist ect those words are over
Tammy Lozano, please. "Zealot" is a perfectly valid English word that, according to Merriam-Webster, means "a fanatical partisan." I don't know what ridiculous notion you have that a perfectly ordinary word can be "over," but, according to the dictionary definition, "zealot" is a more apt today as a description of American politicians than ever before.
The only thing Wrong with being Right is when being Right is Wrong
The media and academics notoriously leave out the word "ethnic" when using the term "diverse." Most diverse ever means most ethnically diverse ever. They do not mean, the most socioeconmically diverse ever, or most diverse in terms of political party representation. It's time for the media to be more specific with what they're referring to when they just use the word diverse to mean ethnically diverse.
Saying "ethnic diversity" wouldn't cover the diversity of having more women in Congress as such, or the diversity of having more gays in Congress as such.
The most diverse.....And the most useless and incompetent. Who cares about the Congress' diversity if it can't get anything good done????
It's good that Congress isn't totally all white, all male, all Christian, all straight. But, you are right, if they can't get anything done, so what?
It will turn into the Maury Povich show really quick!
And the headline reads as if this is a good thing? Oh, this is CNN.com. I forgot.
Diverse yes and totally disfunctional. Where you WANT your diversity is in the parts you can't measure: life experience, common sense, and devotion to duty.
No, I don't want diversity there at all, I want all of them to have those qualities in common.
United We Stand Divided We Fall
As a country we are very divided.
A Panera's waiter of Sarasota, Florida, told how we are divide in America: "Now, or you are rich, or your poor, forget about midled class in this country."
Most diverse, maybe. Most disconnected, absolutely.
What are...........5 years old ? It's hard to imagine a more childish post.
a judge in texas warned of civil war if obama is re-elected president. i am now so scared. how will obama handle this discontent? can we have some special quota for them? or can some of these minority elected congress people resign their positions in favor the mainstream americans?
Wow, sknmrowley is a dinosaur. What a racist. If people want to become part of the GOP they will do so because they prefer those politics. Why would you include skin tone? Because you're a racist, that's why. AND.....you're a reason the GOP and Tea Party is declining.....dying, fossilizing, dinosaurs.
Haha, right on cma :)
Actions speak louder then Racial Diversity?
This signals the beginning of the end for the GOP/Tea Party as we know it. Look at the California, less than 30% of the voters are registered Republicans. Democrats control both state houses and all statewide offices. Instead of reinventing itself, California Republicans deceived itself for many years that its policies resonated with a changing population.
Yeah........California....great example !!! Demcrat dominated government (and always has been) going bankrupt while republican run states thrive. HELLO !!!! McFly !!!!
Typical thought process of a liberal to think that their way is ultimately better than any other. Look at all the Democratic controlled states. Most of them are of the social elite, hollywood stupid or social program dependent. That means California is at the top of the list. Most of the Conservative states are surviving and doing well. Too bad the left is too stupid to learn from their follies and too ignorant to to see what really works. Why else would states like Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma have sucessful governments that are more conservative across the board?
Sorry, but as usual the Teajadists get their facts wrong. "Blue" states contribute far dollars to the federal government than they receive. "Red" states receive far more federal money than they contribute. The only exception is Texas, but that's only because the federal government's enormous subsidies to the oil industry don't get counted as federal dollars going to states. The rest of the red states are "takers" as well as haters.
You are forgetting that Arnold was the Republican governor and he left the state in the worst financial shape it has ever been in. Don't keep blaming the Democrats. There's enough blame to go around.
@kbob365 Doesn't sound like you've ever been to a "red state". Things are good there. Economy is strong, things are growing and progressing and as always the people are the nicest you will find anywhere. The hatred is coming from outsiders who know nothing of said states and who make huge undue generalizations of these states. They'll all be moving to these states soon enough to get a job.
California was a sinking ship before arnold took the reigns.
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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