Photos Of New Members Of Congress Being Sworn In Show The New Face Of Power In America
On Thursday afternoon, the 116th Congress came to order. With the House now controlled by the Democratic Party and a record number of women — as well as women of color — officially seated in Congress, Capitol Hill has never before seen such a diverse group of lawmakers. And the photos of new members of Congress being sworn in show exactly that.
It was an important day for Nancy Pelosi as well, who was officially elected as House speaker. Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California praised Pelosi on Thursday after her election as speaker. "The country knows Nancy Pelosi as an experienced leader with three decades of service in Congress, a fighter for her causes and a true trailblazer," McCarthy said. "Even when we disagree with one another completely, it is important to remember that we are bounded together in a common cause, our love for America."
This new class of Congress is historic in itself: It welcomed its first two American Muslim congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota; the first two Native American congresswomen, Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids; and the youngest women to serve in Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Abby Finkenauer, who are 29 and 30, respectively.
1Pelosi Takes Oath
Surrounded by children, a beaming Pelosi took oath as House speaker. Shortly after being sworn in, Pelosi said, "I now call the House to order on behalf of all of America's children. Go kids!"
This bird's-eye view shows Minnesota's Omar embracing her children on Thursday.
3An Unmistakably Happy Ocasio-Cortez
Ocasio-Cortez was also seen chatting with her colleagues prior to being sworn in.
4Deb Haaland And Sharice Davids
The first two indigenous women to serve in Congress were also seen beaming alongside their colleagues. Honoring her heritage as a member of the Pueblo of Laguna tribe, Haaland donned a traditional Pueblo dress for her swearing-in ceremony. In the photo above, she can be seen standing next to Davids, who is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation.
5Tlaib In Her Palestinian Dress
Haaland wasn't the only one to honor her roots; Tlaib was also seen wearing a Palestinian thobe for her swearing-in ceremony. Amusingly enough, Tlaib's son dabbed for the crowd on Thursday, too.
6Abigail Spanberg With Her Daughter
Now representing Virginia's 7th District in the House, Abigail Spanberger was also seen with her daughter in Congress. In November after the midterm election, Spanberger's daughter Catherine made airwaves when she crawled to her mother's dais during her victory speech after she defeated Republican incumbent Dave Brat.
Sure, there were historic victories to keep in mind for the first session of the 116th Congress, but did you notice all those adorable babies? Among those little ones on Thursday was California Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell's infant (pictured above).
8Antonio Delgado And A Few Little Bookworms
The row in front of New York Rep. Antonio Delgado may not seem to be having a ton of fun, but kids around the Democrat could be seen listening to Delgado read out of Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild by Dav Pilkey.
9Lance Gooden With His Son
Texas Republican Rep. Lance Gooden also brought his toddler son.
10Votes For Pelosi And McCarthy
Here's a closer look at how many votes Pelosi and McCarthy each got for the House speaker role. It's certainly old-school, with its tally marks, and it may even demystify how people think Congress handles internal elections and more.
11Quite The Crowd
Veteran and fresh-faced politicians stood together on Thursday as they were sworn in to Congress.
12Lauren Underwood And Her Colleagues
Don't fret if you don't know the names of these representatives yet. Democrats from left to right: Rep. Lauren Underwood of Illinois, Rep. Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez of New York, and finally Rep. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire.
13Sen. Dianne Feinstein
California's Sen. Feinstein, who defeated her challenger Kevin de Leon in the November election and won her fifth term as a result, was sworn in on Thursday.
Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who beat newcomer businessman John James in the midterm election and won her fourth term as a result, was also present for her swearing-in ceremony.
Sinema, Arizona's newest Democratic senator, was also sworn in on Thursday. Sinema is the first openly bisexual politician in the Senate.
After essentially cruising to victory in the November midterm election, Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney was sworn in to the Senate on Thursday.
17Gooden With Maxine Waters
Say cheese for a bipartisan selfie. In the photo above, Gooden can be seen with California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, posing for a photo.
18The Famous Gavel
The gavel belongs to House Speaker Pelosi now, and a wooden plaque carrying her name is up on Capitol Hill as well.
19Colleagues Cheering For Pelosi
California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee appeared to be thrilled for Pelosi's new House speaker role.
Iowa Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer could be seen alongside her colleagues in Congress.
21In Full Session
While Democrats appeared to be overjoyed about taking the House back, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wondered aloud whether the new House would work on "policy making or presidential harassment." McConnell's speech didn't seem to dampen the Democrats' collective spirit, though.
It was a monumental day for Congress. And if these photos are anything to go by, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are already looking a lot more like the people they represent.