How Congress changed
- January 3, 2013 - 8:04 PM
The balance of power is unchanged -- with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats holding a majority in the Senate -- but Congress is undergoing some of the changes that have altered the face of the United States.
The House has 233 Republicans and 200 Democrats. Each party should pick up one more seat when two vacancies are filled. Going into the election, the GOP edge was 242-193. Senate Democrats picked up two seats and will have a caucus of 55, including two independents, Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Republicans have 45.
The House will have 79 women, including 60 Democrats. At the end of the last session, there were 50 Democratic women and 24 Republican women. The new Senate will have 20 women members, an increase of three. That consists of 16 Democrats and four Republicans. The last Senate had 12 Democratic women and five Republicans.
With two vacancies to be filled, the House has 82 freshmen; 47 Democrats and 35 Republicans. As of the end of the last session, 87 of 103 freshmen were Republicans. The Senate will include 14 new faces, with nine Democrats and the independent King. Five are women.
The House will have 40 black members, all Democrats. The number of Democrats is unchanged, although two Republicans will be gone: Allen West, R-Fla., lost his seat, and Tim Scott, R-S.C., was appointed to fill the Senate seat of retiring Jim DeMint. Scott will be the first black lawmaker in the Senate since Roland Burris, who retired in 2010.
The House will have 33 Hispanics, with 25 Democrats and eight Republicans. The Senate will have three Hispanics: Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Republican Marco Rubio of Florida and Republican freshman Ted Cruz of Texas.
The House will have nine Asian-Americans, all Democrats. There are two American Indians: Tom Cole, R-Okla., and Ben Lujan, D-N.M.
According to CQ Roll Call, the average age is 57 in the House and 62 in the Senate. It estimates that the House will include 277 Protestants and Catholics, 22 Jews, two Muslims and two Buddhists. The Senate will have 80 Protestants and Catholics and 10 Jews. The House will have its first Hindu, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii. Sen. Mazie Hirono, also of Hawaii, will be the Senate's only Buddhist. Also for the first time, white men will be a minority among House Democrats.
The numbers do not include House delegates, all Democrats, who can participate in committee activities but cannot vote. Delegates are from American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.
© 2013 Star Tribune