Congresswoman Jayapal becomes first Indian-American woman to wield gavel on Capitol Hill


In a historic first, Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, became the first woman in this community to hold the gavel in the House of Representatives June 4.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, becomes first Indian-American woman to hold gavel presiding on House proceedings June 4, 2019, on Capitol Hill (Photo videograb Twitter Jayapal)

Prior to this, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, presided over the House for the day in early April, becoming the first Indian-American to do so.

“Today, I became the FIRST South Asian American woman to preside over the U.S. House of Representatives. Beyond proud to serve in the most diverse Congress in our nation’s history and to hold the gavel today,” Jayapal tweeted.

The fiery Indian-American Congresswoman has risen to national attention with strong positions she has taken against President Trump and been an outspoken critic of policies relating to immigration, healthcare and women’s reproductive rights, and gender issues, as well as on the conduct of the President.

In an interview June 3, on CNN, she called for an impeachment inquiry in Congress, Jayapal said, “In the end, much more important than any specific election result, is do we have a democracy, where there are three, co-equal branches of government, holding accountable everybody, and not allowing us to have a king instead of a president.”

In her second term now, she has been given some high profile appointments within the Democratic House majority.

She is a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus, the Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a Co-Chair of the Women’s Working Group on Immigration.

Congresswoman Jayapal serves on the House Budget Committee, the House Judiciary Committee, the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, and the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, the House Education and Labor Committee, the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development and the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.

She is a member of a host of caucuses, including the LGBT Equality CaucusCongressional Asian Pacific American CaucusWomen’s CaucusPro-Choice CaucusCongressional Hispanic Caucus, Hunger Caucus, Native American Caucus, New Americans Caucus, etc.




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