The 113th Congress will set some big diversity records, with more women serving than ever before and an entire delegation of women from New Hampshire, but unfortunately none of that diversity will be reflected in House committee leadership.
House Speaker John Boehner announced the chairs of most major House committees for the 113th Congress on Tuesday, and all 19 of them are white males, prompting many Democratic lawmakers to ask, “Where are the women?”—a phrase often echoed last year as women’s voices were kept out of hearings on women’s health issues.
The lone Republican minority congresswoman who has served as chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee during the 112th Congress, Florida’s Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, is stepping down because of term limits.
Republicans have fewer women or minorities to choose from compared to their Democratic counterparts in the House. White men are only a plurality—meaning minorities and women together outnumber them—in upcoming the House Democratic Caucus. House Republicans, on the other hand, are about 90% white males, according to a Bloomberg analysis.
While Senate Democrats have not formally announced their committee chair picks yet, they are expected to retain roughly the same number of women and minority members they already have in the 112th Congress.