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 JayapalHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Bipartisan representatives demand answers on expired surveillance programs DHS opens probe into allegations at Georgia ICE facility 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.