116th Congress: Most Diverse House in US History Has More Than 100 Women, Mostly Democrats
The House of Representatives is about to elect Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. The first woman to ever be elected Speaker will soon retake the gavel after eight years of Republican majority control.
Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will hand the gavel to Speaker Pelosi.
The House is now the most diverse in U.S. history. There are 102 women Members: 89 Democrats and just 13 Republicans. Thirty years ago in 1989 there were just 29 women in the House: 16 Democrats and, again, 13 Republicans.
Not only is the new House more diverse, there’s a lack of one voting bloc: Southern Republicans.
“This is big and underrated. There has never — never! — been a House Democratic majority without a powerful bloc of southern conservatives. And now there is,” tweets Dave Weigel of the Washington Post.
There are celebrations across the nation today, including on the House floor itself:
The Democrats in the House are mobile and chatty, gladhandling, showing other members their kids – there are dozens and dozens – and so on. The Republicans are sitting bored silently in part because they’re older men with fewer young children.
— Osita Nwanevu (@OsitaNwanevu) January 3, 2019
Many members on House floor are wearing “Madame Speaker” buttons in support of Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker. pic.twitter.com/sACjbn03n8
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) January 3, 2019
Some of the newly-elected Democrats are also tweeting:
23 years ago, from a refugee camp in Kenya, my father and I arrived at an airport in Washington DC.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 2, 2019
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 3, 2019
Rep-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in House Chamber.
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 3, 2019
“Nancy Pelosi is a woman of faith, a loving wife, a mother of 5, a grandmother of 9, a sophisticated strategist, a legendary legislator, a voice for the voiceless, a defender of the disenfranchised…” Rep. @RepJeffries says https://t.co/J1V4WNXj2G pic.twitter.com/kmgP19OdBf
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 3, 2019
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
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Biden Dept. of Justice Reverses Trump Order – Declares LGBTQ Students Are Now Protected by Law
In a major reversal of Trump-era legal policies the U.S. Dept. of Justice has issued a memo declaring that LGBTQ students are protected from discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools.
It is a major win for some of the nation’s most vulnerable people, and an interesting twist for the history books.
The memo, dated March 26 but just reported today by The Hill and Law & Crime, was authored by the same attorney who argued part of a major LGBTQ case before the U.S. Supreme Court, and won. That case paved the way for this new memo.
Pamela Karlan (photo) in 2019 argued in the landmark Bostock case, telling the Court in no uncertain terms: “When an employer fires a male employee for dating men but does not fire female employees who date men, he violates Title VII. The employer has…discriminated against the man because he treats that man worse than women who want to do the same thing. And that discrimination is because of sex.”
The Court ruled 6-3 that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is sex discrimination and therefore illegal.
“After considering the text of Title IX, Supreme Court caselaw, and developing jurisprudence in this area, the Division has determined that the best reading of Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination ‘on the basis of sex’ is that it includes discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation,” wrote Karlan, who now serves as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.
Karlan’s memo, along with a broader Biden executive order, reverses a Trump executive order specifically stating that the Bostock ruling was to be narrowly applied only to employment.
Karlan is also the same attorney who testified during Trump’s first impeachment, explaining why his actions constitute bribery.
As Slate’s Joseph Michael Stern notes, “Pam Karlan is one of very few people to win a civil rights case at the Supreme Court then implement that decision as a federal civil rights official. That’s gotta feel good.”
For her, and for millions of LGBTQ students.
Watch: Dr. Rachel Levine Becomes First Openly-Transgender Nominee to Be Senate Confirmed in Historic Vote
Dr. Rachel Levine has just been confirmed to be the Assistant Secretary of Health at the Dept. of Health and Human Services in a historic vote, making her the first Senate-confirmed openly-transgender nominee. The vote was 52-48, with all Democrats voting for her, and two Republicans joining the “yea” votes.
“At a time when hateful politicians are weaponizing trans lives for their own perceived political gain, Dr. Levine’s confirmation lends focus to the contributions trans people make to our nation and deflates absurd arguments calling for their exclusion,” Annise Parker, the former Mayor of Houston and now President of the Victory Fund and Victory Fund Institute said.
As The Washington Post notes, Dr. Levine will become the highest-ranking openly transgender official in U.S. history.
“I firmly believe that turning points, such as today’s Senate confirmation vote for Dr. Levine’s appointment, are powerful indications that this nation is truly heading down the pathway to lasting transgender equality,” former Obama administration official Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, who was the first openly transgender official to work in the White House, told the Post.
President Joe Biden nominated Dr. Levine, who serves as the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health and is a Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine.
Senate confirms Dr. Rachel Levine for Assistant Secretary of Health, 52-48.
She is the first trans person to ever be confirmed by the Senate. pic.twitter.com/fkmdbUbdYi
— The Recount (@therecount) March 24, 2021
US Senate Confirms Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation and First Openly-Gay Cabinet Member
The United States Senate has just confirmed Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation, by a large margin. Buttigieg, a former Democratic candidate for president who quickly won a strong following, along with the Iowa caucuses, becomes the first openly-gay Senate confirmed Cabinet member in U.S. history.
The bipartisan vote was 86-13, a large margin by any standard, but especially in these hyper-partisan times.
A Millennial, at 39 Buttigieg also becomes the youngest member of the Biden Cabinet.
Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) announced the Senate 86-13 confirmation vote of Pete Buttigieg to be President Biden's Transportation Secretary. pic.twitter.com/RuuAhL11bD
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) February 2, 2021
South Bend’s former “Mayor Pete,” now “Mr. Secretary,” says he is “honored and humbled.”
I'm honored and humbled by today's vote in the Senate—and ready to get to work @USDOT.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) February 2, 2021
Senate confirms Pete Buttigieg as secretary of transportation 86-13.
He becomes the first out LGBTQ Cabinet secretary confirmed by the Senate. pic.twitter.com/hx8ZNxImz5
— The Recount (@therecount) February 2, 2021
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