Pramila Jayapal becomes first South Asian American woman to preside over House

Pramila Jayapal becomes first South Asian American woman to preside over House
© Aaron Schwartz

Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalJayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' Progressive House Democrat unveils bill to allow state-based 'Medicare for All' Progressives press Democrats to rethink Israel policy MORE (D-Wash.) broke barriers Tuesday as she took her turn holding the Speaker's gavel, becoming the first South Asian American woman to ever preside over the House.

Jayapal, who was first elected in 2016, tweeted she was "beyond proud" to preside over the House and serve in the most diverse Congress in the nation's history. House Democrats rotate for the ceremonial position of presiding over the chamber.

The 116th Congress broke records with women and lawmakers crossing racial and religious barriers, including an all time high for Asian American lawmakers. 

A record number of 17 Asian Americans serve in Congress, with 14 in the House and three in the Senate.