The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

House Democrats tout diversity in the ranks

Image courtesy of the Office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif..)
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For the first time in U.S. history, white men are in the minority of the House Democratic caucus — and Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want you to forget that.

Just days after House Republicans took criticism for appointing only one woman to chair a committee, the House minority leader took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to show followers a class photo of her caucus’s newly appointed ranking members. As you can see in the photo above, ranking Democrats on House committees are white, black, Hispanic, old and young, male and female, from urban and rural areas. Age may be the one element most lacking, considering that one usually ascends to the top of a committee heap only after years of experience.

During a news conference, Pelosi later noted that her caucus is diverse “geographically, generationally, gender-wise, ethnically, in every way,” and a group that embraces “a diversity of opinion.”

“These leaders will ensure that the voices of all Americans will have a seat at the table, the interests of every American represented in the halls of government, and no American is left behind in the public debate,” Pelosi added. “Our ranking members bring decades of experience, wisdom and public service to their posts.”

Pelosi called out the Democrats sitting on the five most-prominent House panels, including Rep. Nita Lowey (N.Y.), the new ranking member on House Appropriations; Rep. Louise Slaughter (N.Y), ranking member on the Rules Committee; Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.), the top Democrat on House Financial Services; Rep. Sandy Levin (Mich.), ranking Democrat on House Ways and Means; and Rep. Henry Waxman (Calif.), who leads Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The caucus’s decision to highlight their diversity just so happens to come the day after “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” skewered the GOP for appointing Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) to lead the House Administration Committee.

“She will be the chair of the House Administration Committee, whose responsibilities apparently range from making Congress more open and accessible to ensuring the House runs efficiently and smoothly,” Stewart said. “So we’ve got a woman to be, to coin a phrase, the House wife. Problem solved.”

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