It’s official: A record-breaking number of women have been sworn into the 116th Congress, which also boasts one of the most diverse classes ever.
It’s a class filled with firsts — from the youngest women ever to serve in Congress to the first Muslim-American women (who are also the first Palestinian American and Somali American, respectively) to the first Native American women. Massachusetts and Connecticut have both elected their first African-American representatives. And states such as Tennessee and Arizona sent women to the Senate for the first time.
All told, there will be 127 women serving in Congress this term — 25 in the Senate and 102 in the House — massive gains that follow a huge midterm election for women candidates. (The previous records were 23 women in the Senate and 85 women in the House.)
While lawmakers are still muddling their way through a seemingly intractable shutdown impasse, the new members of the 116th Congress represent a sign that some things in the Capitol are changing for the better.
Watch as Nancy Pelosi retakes the gavel for House speaker and a historic new class of Congress members is sworn in: