The 113th Congress was sworn in on Thursday, and made history in being the most diverse Congress in history, due to racial, religious, and sexual orientation diversity. Although overall the majority of lawmakers who were sworn in were white Protestant men, there are some notable milestones that move Congress to be more reflective of the diversity of the American public, including:
- 101 women, with 20 in the Senate
- 43 African-Americans
- 31 Latinos
- 12 Asian-Americans
Massachusetts' new senator Elizabeth Warren was sworn in, as well as Representative Joseph Kennedy III.
Other congressional firsts:
First Buddhist Senator
Mazie Hirono, Democrat from Hawaii
First Hindu member of Congress
Tulsi Gabbard, Democrat from Hawaii. Gabbard used a Bhagavad Gita, the sacred text of Hinduism, to be sworn in.
First openly bi-sexual member of Congress
Kyrsten Sinema, Democrat from Arizona
First openly gay Senator
Tammy Baldwin, Democrat from Wisconsin
First time a state has an all-female delegation: New Hampshire
A unique political system in this state allows women to gain powerful positions in local government. Democratic governor Maggie Hassan, Democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen, returning Republican senator Kelly Ayotte, and congressional representatives Ann McLane-Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter make up New Hampshire's delegation.
First female combat veterans in Congress
Along with Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii, Tammy Duckworth, Democrat from Illinois this will be the first Congress with female combat veterans. Duckworth is also a double-amputee.