Congress is not the most diverse place. There are 102 women (out of 535) in the Senate and House, according to the Congressional Research Service. There are 44 black politicians currently serving in Congress, and 37 Latino or Hispanic members. There are 13 Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders, and two American Indians. That leaves a lot of white men, many with white hair — given that the average age of a member of the House is 57, and 62 old for the Senate.
And, as we realized while looking through the House membership rolls earlier this week during the leadership elections, it can be hard to remember who is who.
Reporter Marin Cogan wrote a story in February 2013 about the difficulties journalists -- and congressional freshman -- have identifying their sources -- or colleagues.
Kyrsten Sinema, a new congresswoman from Arizona and the first openly bisexual person ever elected to the House, told me she wasn't worried about trying to learn all the new names and faces. As a professor at Arizona State University for ten years, she's had some practice. Her method? "I look at clothes--don't write that down," she said. Some members, like Texas Democratic Representative Pete Gallego, she notes, wear something distinctive, like cowboy boots emblazoned with the seal of Texas. Also: "Some men wear the same suit every day."
So, are you more skilled at recognizing members of Congress than the average American? Try our quiz and find out. And no, we didn't include any cowboy boots. That would be too easy.