New Faces in the House of Representatives

On November 6, the Democratic Party won a majority in the House of Representatives after eight years as the minority party. While the Democrats did not successfully flip the Senate, their presence in the House is an accomplishment worthy of celebration. Before the election, the division of the house was 193 Democrats to 236 Republicans, and Democrats were unable to introduce legislation into the House.

With their majority, Democrats can conduct oversight on the Republican executive branch and Republican Senate. Danger lies in the same party controlling both houses of Congress as well as the executive. The oversight power is one of the checks-and-balances relayed in the U.S. Constitution, and the voices of all parties and people must be represented for this to fairly take place. Now that Democrats have a majority in the House, they can subpoena Trump for his tax returns and evidence that may further the Russia Investigation. Additionally, they can draft an Article of Impeachment if they see fit. Democrats can stop Republicans from repealing Obamacare without an adequate replacement, save Social Security programs, and protect Medicare.

The 2018 midterms included the most diverse candidates in American history. There were record high numbers of women, LGBTQ+, and people of color in House, Senate, and Governor races, and this is a victory for the American people because the straight white upper class is overrepresented in the current 115th Congress. The upcoming 116th Congress is more diverse than ever, and there are many ‘firsts’ that have occurred in newly-elected women.

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandra Orasio-Cortez, representing New York, is 29 and the youngest woman to be elected in Congress. One of her main platforms is to create a baseline for the treatment of workers concerning minimum wage, Medicare, and paid sick leave.

Ayanna Pressley

Ayanna Pressley is newly elected as Massachusetts’ first black Congresswoman. Pressley defeated a 10 year Republican incumbent. Her goal is to modernize how Americans view Congress and offer her diverse perspective. 

Young Kim

Young Kim is the first Korean-American woman in Congress from California. She immigrated from South Korea to California. Kim seeks to challenge Trump’s immigration and trade policies.

Deb Haaland

Deb Haaland is the first Native American woman to be elected to Congress. Haaland will represent Arizona with the Democratic Party. Haaland has lead many campaigns calling for President Trump’s impeachment. 

Sharice Davids

Sharice Davids of Kansas joins Deb Haaland as the first Native American woman in Congress, and she is also the first gay woman in Congress. Haaland is a former martial arts fighter. Among many things, she wants to fight for common-sense gun safety laws.

Rashida Tlaib

Rashida Tlaib is the second Muslim woman to be in the US legistlature, and she will be the first in Congress. She will be representing Michigan’s 13thdistrict. Tlaib is going to fight for a $15 national minimum wage, and she wants to stand up for Union rights.

Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar is from Minnesota. As well as being one of the two first Muslim women to be elected to Congress, Omar is also the first Somali-American in Congress. She will advocate for debt-free college and guaranteed public education.

What’s Next?

While there have been undeniable victories from the midterm elections, there is still a long way to go until Congress fully represents the American people.