116th Congress

The Most Diverse Congress In American History

The 116th Congress, which opened on Wednesday, is the most diverse in American history.

It contains the following in the House of Representatives, “the people’s branch”:

102 women

52 African Americans

39 Hispanic-Latino Americans

20 Asian Americans

34 Jewish Americans

2 Native Americans

2 Muslim Americans

Most of these groups are Democrats, with only a scattering of Republicans among them.

So we have a very diverse Democratic Party, and a heavily white Christian male Republican Party.

The future is in the hands of the Democrats long term, and if the Republican Party does not become more diverse and back away from the cancer of Donald Trump, the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan, and Bush will end up in the dustbin of history, to be replaced by a moderate conservative party under a different banner and agenda.



New US Senators In 116th Congress (2019-2020)

Arizona–Kyrsten Sinema (D) and Martha McSally (R)

Florida–Rick Scott (R)

Indiana–Mike Braun (R)

Missouri–Josh Hawley (R)

Nevada–Jacky Rosen (D)

North Dakota–Kevin Cramer (R)

Tennessee–Marsha Blackburn (R)

Utah–Mitt Romney (R)

These 9 Senators (2 Democrats and 7 Republicans) will be added to the all time list, which will reach 1,983 people who have served in the US Senate in the 232 years from 1789 to 2021.

Trump Insisting On Border Wall, While Abandoning Commitment To Resistance To ISIS And Taliban In Middle East, The Much Greater Long Term Threat To National Security

Donald Trump is creating an economic and constitutional crisis in his stubborn insistence on a border wall, which will not insure the safety of the United States, and is a financial boondoggle.

Meanwhile, he is abandoning a commitment to resistance to two Muslim terrorist groups which are still major problems in the Middle East, ISIS and the Taliban, leaving it to other nations that have ill intent—Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the murderous regime in Syria—to resolve that issue, which, instead, will lead to the further growth of terrorism, which will spread around the globe.

This is a much greater long term threat to American national security, and one can sure that in the future, we will have some kind of major terrorist attack caused by ISIS and or the Taliban in a manner that will affect many Americans.

This, if it happens under the Trump Presidency, would be a perfect excuse for Trump to attempt to suspend the Constitution, declare martial law, and accomplish his underlying goal of creating an authoritarian dictatorship on a Fascist model.

This cannot be allowed to happen, and the new 116th Congress must resist Trump at all costs, and Republicans who have any morals or ethics or concern for our historical heritage of rule by law, must join with Democrats to insure the survival of our democratic system of government, at what is clearly now the greatest crisis since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when, fortunately, we had a level headed and mentally stable President in charge.

Latinos In Congress Gain Major Role In 116th Congress

There are 57 million Latinos, from Puerto Rican heritage, as well as Cuban, Mexican, and one from Ecuador in the United States as 2018 comes to an end.

A record of 43 Latinos will be sitting in the 116th Congress, with some in leadership roles, as Latinos now constitute 18 percent of the total population, the nation’s largest minority group.

New Mexico Representative Ben Ray Lujan has been chosen by the Democratic Caucus to be Assistant Democratic Leader, the fourth ranking position in the House Leadership, and could be on the road to being a future Whip, Majority Leader, or even Speaker of the House in the future.

Meanwhile, Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto will be in charge of the party’s campaign arm for Senate races in 2020, the first Latina to have a position of authority in the Democratic Party.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus will be headed by Texas Representative Joaquin Castro, and his brother, Julian, is about to announce his candidacy for President, the first serious Latino to compete for the White House.

The caucus will pursue comprehensive immigration reform; reconstruction in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria; raising the minimum wage; lowering the cost of health care; and dealing with climate change.

Ten new Latinos are coming to Congress, the largest increase ever, with five Democrats who were first time candidates defeating Republican incumbents in November, including one Latina.

Four other Latinas will be in the new Congress, including two from Texas, and one from the Bronx, New York, and one born in Ecuador.

35 of the 43 Latinos in the next Congress are Democrats, to 8 Republicans, with only one new Republican Latino, elected in Ohio, the first Latino ever elected from Ohio.

Seven other first time Republican Latinos Congressional candidates lost, in the era of the anti Latino and anti immigrant rhetoric common to Donald Trump and his administration.

And two Republican Latinos lost their seats in California and Florida, not a good sign for Latino impact on the Republican Party in the future.

Nearly One Out Of Four Members Of The 116th Congress Will Be Women, All Time High

The role of women in American politics has grown dramatically in recent years, and in 2019-2020, the 116th Congress will have its highest number of women in history, 102 in the House of Representatives, and 25 in the US Senate.

89 of the House women are Democrats, while 13 are Republicans, and in the Senate, 17 women are Democrats, and 8 are Republicans.

So 106 women in Congress are Democrats, as compared to 21 Republicans, nearly five times the rate among Democrats as compared to Republicans.

Every state except four have had Congresswomen, the only exceptions being Alaska, Iowa, North Dakota and Vermont, but with the first three having elected Senators, so only Vermont has never had a woman represent the state in Congress.

Nearly 38 percent of Democrats in the House of Representatives are women, while only 6.5 percent of Republicans are women.

About the same percentage, 38 percent, of Democrats in the Senate are women, while about 14 percent of Republicans are women. 

35 Democratic women were elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018, to just 1 Republican woman, an amazing statistic.

2 Democratic women were elected to the Senate in November 2018, to just 1 Republican,  plus 1 Republican appointed to fill a seat to 2020.

So clearly,  the Democrats are the party of women by vast margins, as compared to Republicans.

The longest serving Congresswoman ever, Marcy Kaptur, Democrat of Ohio, has served 36 years and will start her 19th term in January.

Nancy Pelosi, the past and future Speaker of the House, is starting her 17th term in Congress, having served 32 years.

And this all began with Republican Jeannette Rankin of Montana, elected to serve in 1917-1918, and sponsoring the woman suffrage 19th Amendment.

All Time High Number Of Women US Senators In 116th Congress: 25

In the 116th Congress of 2019-2020, there will be an all time high of 25 women Senators, including four new members of the upper chamber.

17 of them will be Democrats, while 8 will be Republicans.

Six states will have both their Senators being women, including

California—Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris

Washington—Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell

New Hampshire—Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan

Minnesota—Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith

Arizona—Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally

Nevada—Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen

All of these duos are Democrats, except for Martha McSally, just appointed to fill John McCain’s seat to 2020, after losing the chance to win the seat of retiring Senator Jeff Flake to Kyrsten Sinema.

The longest serving woman Senator is Dianne Feinstein of California, who has been in the Senate since November 1992, and is the oldest member of the US Senate, and if she survives in office to the end of her term in 2024, she would be 91, only the 4th Senator to reach the age of 90 in office, and also would be the woman with more years of service than any other woman Senator.

Patty Murray of Washington has only two months fewer service than Feinstein, so also would have served longer than any other woman Senator.

Senator Susan Collins of Maine started serving in 1997, the longest serving Republican woman Senator.

32 states have had women Senators by 2019, and 21 states so represented in the 116th Congress.

A total of 56 women Senators will have served by 2019, with 36 being Democrats and 20 being Republicans.

And finally, it is likely that four Democratic women Senators will be running for President in 2020—Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Kamala Harris.

Democratic Donnybrook Could Endanger Chances Of Democratic Party Unity For 2020

Now that the nation is looking toward the new 116th Congress, opening on Thursday, January 3, with a Democratic controlled House of Representatives and a Republican controlled Senate, attention is starting to be paid to the upcoming Presidential Election of 2020.

The season for announcing one’s candidacy is upon us, and already, it seems clear that the Democrats are going to offer the nation too many candidates.

The all time record is the Republicans in 2016 offering 17 candidates, and it forced debates to be two rounds, which was totally preposterous and confusing, and benefited Donald Trump.

We might, this round for the Democratic party, be faced with 30 or more potential nominees, but honestly, that is totally crazy.

This author believes that more than 12 candidates makes a mockery of the process, and it is urgent that potential candidates be realistic, and not shoot for the stars, so to speak.

It is counterproductive for many, who realistically have to believe their chances are limited, to crowd a field of candidates with much more funding, name recognition, staff, and journalistic attention required to sustain themselves, but not available for so many candidates.

An ideal group of 12 would include some veterans of presidential campaigning; some newcomers; some racial and ethnic representatives; some women; and some from diverse geographical sections of the nation.

Not everyone has the personality, temperament, and ability to be President, and it is essential that a tone of realism is introduced into the process.

If the Democrats become engaged in a full scale donnybrook, it will endanger the chance of the party for unity in 2020, and could lead to Republican retention of the White House.

Major Roles To Be Played By Democratic Committee Chairs In 116th Congress

The 116th Congress will see Democrats taking over the committee chairmanships in the House of Representatives.

Adam Schiff of California will be the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, and will require many Trump Administration figures, including his children and son in law, to testify.

Elijah Cummings of Maryland will head the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Jerrold Nadler of New York will head the House Judiciary Committee, which might move to have impeachment hearings against Donald Trump.

Eliot Engel of New York will lead the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and deal with the problems of unstable foreign policy of Donald Trump.

Maxine Waters will lead the House Financial Services Committee, and is sure to demand lots of testimony and documents from the Trump Administration.

Nita Lowey of New York will be the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, clearly crucial in dealing with spending programs.

Raul Grijalva of Arizona will be the Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, and will be engaged in combat with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department over Donald Trump’s refusal to combat global warming.

These seven committee Chairs are going to face a constant assault by the right wing extremists, Fox News Channel, and Donald Trump himself, along with others who are Chairs of other committees in the House of Representatives.

One point of particular concern is that four of these seven committee Chairs named above are Jewish (Schiff, Nadler, Engel, Lowey), two (Cummings and Waters) are African American, and Grijalva is Hispanic, which makes it likely that white supremacists, encouraged by Donald Trump rhetoric, are likely to pose a growing threat to these committee Chairs, and makes it likely they will need security services to protect them, a horrendous reality.

But the move to investigate and hold Donald Trump and his administration responsible is urgent, even with the growing threat.

New Diverse House Democratic Leadership Emerging: Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico And Hakeem Jeffries Of New York

Although there is some opposition to the existing Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives, it is now clear that younger members of diverse background are being groomed to be in the top leadership by the 117th Congress in 2021.

Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, The Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the past four years, will now have the position of Assistant Democratic Leader, the fourth ranking position in the House leadership. Lujan is 46 years old, and has been a member of the House for ten years, and would be the highest ranking Latino in Congressional history. He is a leader on the issue of public lands, and has also led on Native American issues in his tenure, and is an inspiring figure who could become the new Speaker of the House or the House Majority Leader in the 117th Congress.

Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee in the present Congress, will have the position of Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, the fifth ranking position in the House leadership, He is 48 years old, and has been a member of Congress for the past six years, after six years in the New York State Assembly. He has been the Congressional Black Caucus Whip, and has been active in pursuing programs to deal with the high public housing and high unemployment of his Congressional district. He is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and is seen as a rising star in the party, who also might contest to be Speaker of the House or House Majority Leader in the future.

So in a nation becoming more diverse, we have a Latino member and African American member of the House of Representatives who will be making news in the coming years, and rising into House leadership.

The 116th Congress, 2019-2020, In Detail: Hopefully, The First Step To A Democratic Senate and Democratic President Elected In 2020

The 116th Congress, opening on January 3, 2019, will have exactly 100 new members, an all time high turnover.

It will contain 235 Democrats and 200 Republicans in the House of Representatives, a gain of 40 seats by the Democrats, the most massive turnover since the Midterm Elections of 1974, after Richard Nixon had resigned that August due to the Watergate Scandal.

The Senate will be 53 Republicans to 45 Democrats and 2 Independents (Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont), an increase of two seats for the Republicans.

It is much more “Blue” or Democratic and younger and more diverse in every way, a true “Blue Wave”.

The average age of the newcomers is age 49.

63 of the new members are Democrats, and 37 are Republicans, with the Democrats having 60 new House members and 3 Senators, while the Republicans have 31 new House members and 6 Senators.

So there are 91 new House members and 9 new Senators, making a turnover of about 20 percent of the House and 9 percent of the Senate in membership.

40 of the new 100 members of Congress are women, 36 in the House and 4 in the Senate.

60 of the new members are men, 55 in the House and 5 in the Senate.

24 of the new House members are Hispanic, Native American and people of color, but all of the newly elected Senators are white.

History Makers include: Marsha Blackburn (R) of Tennessee, the first woman elected to Congress from her state; two Native American women elected to the House from Kansas and New Mexico; the Kansas Congresswoman being the first openly gay person elected to Congress from Kansas; first two Latina women elected to Congress from Texas; first Muslim women elected to Congress from Michigan and Minnesota; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York the youngest elected Congresswoman ever in Congress; the first black Congresswoman ever elected from Massachusetts and Connecticut; and Kyrsten Sinema the first woman elected to the Senate from Arizona, and also first openly bisexual member of the Senate.

We also have older new members in their 70s, Mitt Romney in the Senate at 71, and Donna Shalala of Florida in the House at 77.

The new Congressional group is highly educated, with 70 percent having gone to graduate school; one third having law degrees; 12 having MBAs; seven members having at least two graduate degrees; and Kyrsten Sinema having four graduate degrees.

19 members have served in the military, including 6 in the Army, 11 in the Navy, and 2 in the Air Force.

4 of the newcomers are professional athletes in their past, including 2 NFL football players, 1 professional hockey player, and 1 mixed martial arts fighter.

Also, there are 3 doctors, one dentist, 1 nurse, and 5 educators in the group of 100 new members of Congress.

The average age of members of Congress remains about the same as it has been, 58.5 years.

The total number of women in Congress are 124, an all time high, including 100 in the House and 24 in the Senate.

Finally, 21 percent of the Congress is Hispanic, Native American, and people of color.

Hopefully, the “Blue Wave” of 2018 will lead to a Democratic Senate and Democratic President in the Presidential Election of 2020.