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 JayapalHouse Democrats delete tweets attacking each other, pledge to unify House approves bill raising minimum wage to per hour Progressive House Democrats describe minimum wage hike as feminist issue in Teen Vogue column 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.