The 116th Congress was sworn in on Thursday, January 3, and immediately moved to approve legislation that would reopen the government, despite the likely failure of that legislation in the Senate. The House also elected Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, as its new speaker, the New York Times reports.
Gerrymandering and district lines notwithstanding, American voters gave about 61 million votes to House Democratic candidates and about 51 million to House Republican candidates. The actual ratio of Democrats to Republicans in the House, however, remains highly under the influence of gerrymandering in national Congressional districts.
The new class of senators and representatives in Washington includes Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, who became the youngest woman elected to the House of Representatives.
A history-maker from Illinois also joined the new group of legislators: Rep Lauren Underwood, 32, a nurse, health enthusiast, and advocate for the working people of Illinois, became the youngest black woman to serve in the US House.
She graduated from Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, Illinois, and holds two master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.