Thursday, January 03, 2013

113th Congress Starts Today

The 113th Congress starts today with the Democrats gaining ground thanks to the 2012 election.  There will be 200 Democrats and 233 Republicans in this Congress with the seat of resigned Illinois Democrat Jesse Jackson, Jr to be determined in an April 9 special election.

The 113th Congress will run from today until January 3, 2015 with the eagerly anticipated on our side November 2014 midterm election at the end of it. 

As always, there's history being made with the opening session of the most diverse so far Congress in US history.

There are 84 freshmen in the 113th Congress, 49 Democrats (33 men, 16 women) and 35 Republicans (32 men, 3 women). This year's Freshman House class includes the first Hindu elected to Congress in Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and the first openly bisexual person elected to Congress in the person of Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)

Speaking of women, in the House, the 113th Congress will have the most female officeholders ever with 100 women in both parties serving in the House and Senate.  In addition to the 80 female House members of both parties serving their various districts there will be a record 20 women serving in the US Senate..  

The Democrats will be the first party ever to have more women and non-white members serving in their caucus than white males.  There will be 43 African-American members of Congress pending what happens in the Illinois special election and one* in the Senate    There will also be a record number of 30 Latinos coming to Capitol Hill as well with 3 serving in the Senate.

There are seven total LGBT members of Congress including for the first time ever a senator in the person of  Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).  Hopefully one day I'll be writing about the first trans member of Congress, but for now the 'T' isn't part of the LGBT congressional delegation.

On the Senate side, the Democrats retained control of the Senate and thanks to two independent senators caucusing with them in Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Angus King (I-ME) will have a 55-45 edge 

As far as the 113th Congress leadership goes, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) will remain Senate Majority Leader, Sen Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will remain as Senate Minority Leader.   In the House Rep Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will remain the House Minority Leader but as to who will claim the Speaker of the House gavel is questionable on the GOP side with current speaker John Boehner (R-OH) being in serious trouble with he conservative movement and his rebellious caucus.

It also remains to be seen if the Democrats take their opportunity to change the filibuster rule today.  hope they do after the way the GOP has been abusing it for the last few years.  

Will definitely be tuned into the political drama inside I-495 when this 113th Congress starts.

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