Mar 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Asian American representation in Congress at record high

Data: Brookings Institution, U.S. House and Senate; Note: Data does not include non-voting members. Chart: Sara Wise/Axios
Data: Brookings Institution, U.S. House and Senate; Note: Data does not include non-voting members. Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The number of Asian Americans elected to Congress has increased significantly through the years and is currently at a record high, but the total representation still only amounts to about 3% of the membership.

Why it matters: Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), chairperson of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, has made it her mission to increase Asian American and Pacific Islander representation across the spectrum of government.

  • CAPAC has had meetings with the White House and throughout the administration to hold President Biden to his promise of building a federal branch reflecting the diversity of the country, a caucus aide told Axios.
  • There are several members of the community represented at the highest levels of Biden’s administration, including Vice President Kamala Harris. She made history as the first South Asian American elected to that office.
  • On Wednesday, the Senate also confirmed Katherine Tai, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, to serve as U.S. trade representative, making her the first woman of color to serve in the role.
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