Congress: The 114th Congress
How representative and effective can the 114th Congress be?
Profile of the 114th Congress
While America is a nation of women (51%). they are only 20% of the Senate.
In the House of Representatives, women are only 18% of the House.
As for Asian-Americans there is only 1 in the Senate (1%), African-Americans are only 2% of the Senate, while Hispanics are 3%. There are no Native Americans in the Senate, and only 2 in the House.
There are 10 Asian-Americans in the House which has 44 African-Americans, and 34 Hispanics.
Republicans in the House: 246. Democrats in the House: 188. (One formerly Republican seat from New York is presently open and waiting to be filled.)
Republicans in the Senate: 54. Democrats in the Senate: 44. Independents: 2
The number of votes required to override a Presidential veto is two-thirds of the votes cast in the Senate, and two-thirds of the votes cast in the House. Thus, if every member of Congress votes, to override a presidential veto would require 67 votes to override in the Senate, as well as 290 votes to override in the House.
If Senators and Representatives voted based just on party affiliation, they cannot override any presidential veto of bills reaching the president's desk from the 114th Congress.
Knowing the "players" without a program....
The 114th Congress arrived in Washington, DC with only one empty seat. It is vacant because a House member resigned after pleading guilty to tax evasion.
The rest of the seats are filled with some minor changes compared to the 113th "Do Nothing Congress". With resignations and defeats of members of the 113th Congress, the 114th has four more female representatives, including the youngest ever elected to a seat in the House, and the first African-American Republican female ever elected.
61 new members of the House were sworn in after the November elections. Of those, 44 are Republicans and 17 are Democrats.
New Senators in the 114th Congress include 12 new Republican senators and one new senator who is a Democrat.
In the process of integrating these new members of Congress, some shuffling of committee assignments and changes in committee chairmanships have taken place.
While there are new faces, and new majorities, party philosophies are little changed, even with the influence of Tea Party advocates among the Republicans in Congress. The influence of the elections ahead in 2016 will have a major influence on political posturing as November 2016 draws closer.
Most members of Congress are Caucasian, well-to-do (if not just downright wealthy) males. Women and minorities are poorly represented as compared to their percentages of the population in the USA, and new representatives and senators normally have little political influence unless their votes become critical in passing a given piece of legislation or for overriding a presidential veto.
By comparison to the most complicated card games, the rules of the House and the rules of the Senate are more complex and difficult to master. New senators and representatives will hit the Washington treadmill running but find it hard to make any major impact on what is a notorious "old boys club."
Regardless, we do well to wish them well, our very lives may depend on their wisdom and their efforts to provide the added leadership the USA needs.
"We do well to wish them well.... ."
© 2015 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
Americans In Politics
Becoming a literate voter:
- How Long Do Representatives and Senators Usually Serve Once They Are Elected?
When a senator such as Utah's Senator Orin Hatch runs for a 7th term in the United States Senate, what can voters do? The answer is simple, but the outcome is in doubt!
- Conservatives And Liberals In American Politics
Are you hanging on to the tried and true or launching forth into a brave new world? America is changing, has always changed, but it's hard to know the players without some updated definitions here.