Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs

Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs
© Greg Nash

New data released by Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi, Schumer slam Trump executive orders, call for GOP to come back to negotiating table Sunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief Postal Service says it lost .2 billion over three-month period MORE (D-N.Y.) finds that seven Democratic senators have an office in which more than 50 percent of the staffers identify as “non-Caucasian.”

The figures are one higher than last year, according to a report by NBC News.

The data released Wednesday shows that Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Senate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package Ex-USAID employee apologizes, denies sending explosive tweets MORE (D-N.J.) had the most diverse staff. About 24 percent of his staffers are Latino, while 33 percent are Black. 

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In Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzLobbying world Overnight Defense: House passes defense bill that Trump threatened to veto | Esper voices concerns about officers wearing military garb Senate rejects broad restrictions on transfers of military-grade equipment to police MORE's (D-Hawaii) office, 45 percent of staffers identify as Asian or Pacific Islander and 19 percent as Native American.

Forty senators have a majority-white staff.

Sen. Angus KingAngus KingSenate Democrats push to include free phone calls for incarcerated people in next relief package Trump's pitch to Maine lobstermen falls flat OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court cancels shutdown of Dakota Access Pipeline | US could avoid 4.5M early deaths by fighting climate change, study finds | Officials warn of increasing cyber threats to critical infrastructure during pandemic MORE (I-Maine), who caucuses with the Democrats, has 8 percent non-Caucasian staff, according to the data. However, King’s staff is slightly more diverse than his state, which is 94.48 percent white.

Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Yates spars with GOP at testy hearing Vermont has a chance to show how bipartisanship can tackle systemic racism MORE (D-Vt.) has a 9 percent nonwhite staff, while his state is 94.33 percent white.

The data showed that most Democratic senators’ staffs were majority women.

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The only Democratic senators with a staff under 50 percent women were King, with 46 percent; Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Yates spars with GOP at testy hearing Democrats want Biden to debate Trump despite risks MORE (D-Calif.), with 44 percent; Schatz with 48 percent; and Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Overnight Defense: Embattled Pentagon policy nominee withdraws, gets appointment to deputy policy job | Marines, sailor killed in California training accident identified | Governors call for extension of funding for Guard's coronavirus response Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE (D-R.I.), with 39 percent.

Only one committee, meanwhile, has 50 percent or more nonwhite Democratic staff, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Eighty-three percent of Democratic staffers on that panel do not identify as white.

The least diverse Democratic staff was on the Senate Finance Committee, where 3 percent of Democratic staffers were nonwhite. 

“As our country confronts some of the most difficult and unique challenges in recent decades, the need for Congress to present a diversity of ideas and solutions has never been clearer,” Schumer told NBC News in an email.

“Senate Democrats know that when our staff reflects the range of perspectives and experiences of the people we represent, we can better serve American families and keep our democracy strong," he added. "Our differences when it comes to race, gender identity, geographic location, ability and more should be celebrated and keep us striving toward ensuring the most diverse congressional staff possible."

Schumer’s staff is 45 percent nonwhite, according to the data.