Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

African Americans in Congress, by the numbers

Friday, August 30th, 2013

(Washington Post) Our friends over at the University of Minnesota’s Smart Politics team are out with somegreat new data on African-American representation in the United States House.

Here are some of the tidbits we found most interesting:

The total number of African Americans elected to the House: 127.

The number of states which have yet to elect an African American to the House: 25.

The percentage of elected African Americans that come from just five states: New York, California, Illinois, Michigan, and Georgia: 49 percent.

The percentage of representatives from Maryland who have been black since 1870 — the highest percentage of any state. (South Carolina is second at 7.1 percent.): 7.2 percent.

Full story…

Senate Proposal Would Eliminate Diversity Visas

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

(Hispanic Business) The U.S. Senate proposal to replace diversity visas with a merit-based program is being met with skepticism by some civil rights groups and black lawmakers. 

The current proposal is to create at least 120,000 merit visas a year by 2015 that would be replace the 55,000 diversity visas that have been doled out annually via lottery. 

Advocates said they haven't seen evidence yet a new merit-based program is an acceptable replacement for the diversity visas. 

Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP's Washington office, is advocating the diversity program be retained, the Washington publication The Hill reported Friday. 

Full story…

Eric Cantor On Immigration: Children Of The Undocumented Should Get Citizenship

Monday, February 11th, 2013

(Reuters) – A top U.S. Republican lawmaker said on Sunday he would support granting citizenship to children who are undocumented in the country in a sign that conservatives who oppose immigration amnesty will be playing defense as Congress takes on immigration reform in the coming months.

Representative Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, said Congress could make quick progress on immigration if lawmakers agreed to give citizenship to children – an idea he opposed when it came up for a vote in 2010 as the DREAM Act.

"The best place to begin, I think, is with the children. Let's go ahead and get that under our belt, put a win on the board," Cantor said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Cantor is leading an effort to improve his party's image as many Republicans worry they will be consigned to irrelevancy in coming years if they do not reach out to the fast-growing Latino electorate, which strongly supports immigration reform.

Full story…

California’s freshman class in the U.S. House is large and diverse

Monday, January 7th, 2013

 

(Los Angeles Times) A decade ago, Eric Swalwell was working at a Capitol Hill gym handing out towels to members ofCongress. On Thursday, he was on the House floor, swearing to support and defend the Constitution as one of 14 new House members from California.

Swalwell, a Democrat from Dublin in the San Francisco Bay Area, is among a diverse group of freshmen from the Golden State who took office Thursday in the biggest turnover of the state's delegation in 20 years. They cast their first vote — on the question of who would be House speaker — mugged for photos and enjoyed a rare festive day that masked the partisan fights that lay ahead.

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113th Congress: Reflecting America’s diversity

Friday, January 4th, 2013

 

(Seattle Post Intelligencer) A record 20 women, including two from Washington, will serve in the U.S. Senate as part of the new 113th Congress sworn in today.  The Senate’s senior “Gentle lady,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, is the first woman to chair the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, three seniority slots ahead of Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Combined with 81 “Gentle ladies” in the House, there are now 101 women serving in Congress.  House Democrats are led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., while Washington’s Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers is chair of the House Republican Conference.Congress is creaky and can be tortoise-like in its movement, but the new Senate and House are beginning to reflect America’s growing diversity.

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STEM Act Passage Shows Parties Still Far Apart On Immigration

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

 

(Huffington Post) The House passed a Republican-led bill on Friday to increase visas for foreign nationals who earn advanced degrees in the U.S. for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in a 245 to 139 vote that fell mostly along party lines.

The STEM Jobs Act is unlikely to get a vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate, and the White House officially came out in opposition to the bill on Wednesday. But its passage in the House was also a harbinger for things to come as the two parties map out a broad plan for dealing with immigration. While Democrats opposed the bill because they want a more comprehensive approach, Republicans argued a piecemeal process would be a better path forward — a wide gap in views that will be difficult to bridge.

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Boehner Makes Up for Appointing All Old White Men with Single Old White Female

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

 

(Atlantic) After Republicans filled every House leadership position with old white dudes, Speaker of the House John Boehner changed course on Friday afternoon by adding some diversity — emphasis on the "some." Boehner has tapped Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI), Talking Points Memo reports, to head up the House Administration Committee, where she'll oversee stuff like operatings costs, taxpayer dollars, and technology training.

Earlier in the week, House Republicans filled all 19 positions in their new committee chairs with 19 old, white men, which they were admonished for quite roundly. Adding Miller to the mix doesn't exactly level the playing field, but the GOP still does need a chair of the House Ethics Committee, so there's that.

New House committee chairs reflect GOP’s concept of diversity

Friday, November 30th, 2012

 

(People's World) Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, demonstrated the difficulty his party has with the concept of diversity yesterday when he announced the names of the 19 people who will chair all of the major committees in the new Congress.

They are all white men and most of them are millionaires.

Rep, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the defeated vice presidential candidate, will continue to chair the powerful House budget committee, despite having exhausted the six-year term limit. The GOP lifted the rules to allow him to continue in that post.

They did not change the rules however when it came to a woman. The one female chair that House Republicans have, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, has to step down because her term is up.

The failure to include even a single woman or member of a minority group surprised many in the Capitol here who noted they would have expected something different from a Republican Party that had just been so soundly rejected by women and minority voters.

Full story…

The GOP’s diversity debacle

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

(Politico) After an election in which Mitt Romney lost the black, Asian and Latino vote by landslide margins, the news just got worse for the Republican Party.

With Florida GOP Rep. Allen West’s concession Tuesday, the face of the GOP got a little whiter, ending an election season in which the already undersized contingent of black, Hispanic and Asian Republicans in Congress grew even smaller.

For a party that’s struggling to present a public face that looks more like America, the 2012 election represents something close to a worst-case scenario.

The number of African-American Republicans in Congress, which stood to double thanks to several highly competitive candidates, was instead cut in half, to a single member. The last Asian-American Republican retired and wasn’t replaced. In a year when a record number of Hispanics were elected to Congress, House Republicans ended up losing two of their already small contingent. Puerto Rico GOP Gov. Luis Fortuño, a rising star who campaigned for Mitt Romney in Florida, was another 2012 casualty.

Full story…

Largest Asian Pacific American delegation to U.S. Congress

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

 

(Examiner) The largest contingent of Asian Pacific American legislators ever will make a strong presence when the U.S. House of Representatives convene for the 113th Congress in January.

All Democrats, the representatives are led by returning legislators Mike HondaDoris Matsui, and Judy Chu of California and Filipino-American Robert C. "Bobby" Scott of Virginia.

Another member could join the group when the American-Indian doctor Ami Bera prevails in his close race with incumbent Republican Dan Lungren in a Sacramento, California district that still undecided.

"The diversity of this incoming class represents everything that we've worked to create,” said Honda, whose Silicon Valley district has just become home to the largest concentration of Asian Pacific Americans in the country.

Full story…

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