A New Congress

January 18, 2019
I PROMISE Children surround Nancy Pelosi as she takes the oath to become Speaker of the House, on January 3.
MARK WILSON—GETTY IMAGES

The 116th U.S. Congress opened on January 3. It is the most diverse Congress in history.

The Senate and the House of Representatives have more women than ever before. New House members include Native Americans, Latinos, Muslims, and African Americans.

Democrat Nancy Pelosi is the new Speaker of the House. She took the oath of office. Her grandchildren stood beside her. So did the children and grandchildren of other House members. After being sworn in, Pelosi said, “I now call the House to order on behalf of all of America’s children.”

The House then passed bills to reopen parts of the government. A government shutdown began on December 22. It was caused by President Donald Trump’s demand for money for a border wall. He wants to build one between the U.S. and Mexico.

The new House bills do not include money for the wall. The Senate is unlikely to pass them. More than 800,000 federal workers are not being paid because of the shutdown.

But some senators want to vote on House bills and reopen government agencies. “Let’s get those reopened while the negotiations continue,” Republican Susan Collins said on NBC’s Meet the Press.