Twelve Republican Mikes Hold House Panel Gavels
Johns may dominate the Senate but Mikes hold the most gavels in the House. There are 10 Senate Johns/Jons and 19 Mikes/Michaels in the House, 12 of whom chair committees or subcommittees. One Mike wields two gavels.
Men named Mike chair the House Armed Services Committee, House Foreign Affairs, House Veterans Affairs, House Appropriations Interior and Environment Subcommittee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Another Mike chairs the Joint Long-Range Planning Committee. And a Mike is acting chair of the House Ethics Committee.
Fifteen of the 19 House Mikes and six of the Senate Johns are Republicans, which statistically suggests the GOP has better luck with candidate names than Democrats, and even better luck with men with names advancing to chairmanships.
In addition to a House and Senate full of Johns and Mikes, the 118th Congress boasts a record number of women and minority members.
If your first name is John or Mike and you are a Republican, you might have a political leg up winning election to Congress.
Women in Congress
The 118th Congress has a record number of women members – 28 percent. Women account for 153 of the 540 voting and nonvoting members of Congress. That’s a 59 percent increase over the 96 women who served in the 112thCongress a decade ago. There are 128 women in the House and 25 women in the Senate. Nearly two dozen women were newly elected in the 2022 midterm election. There are more Democratic women members than Republicans.
The first woman elected to Congress was Jeannette Rankin, a Montana Republican, in 1916, two years after women in the Big Sky state gained the right to vote. The 19th Amendment that extended voting rights to women was ratified in 1920. Two-thirds of all women who have served in Congress (261 of 381) were elected since 1962.
Minorities in Congress
The 118th Congress is the most racially and ethnically diverse in the nation’s history, as 133 House and Senate members identify as Black, Hispanic, Asian American, American Indian or Alaska Native. Minority representation has nearly doubled since the 108th Congress. Eighty percent of minority members are Democrats and 20 percent Republicans. The House is more diverse than the Senate.
Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland, D-Wash., is both the first Black lawmaker to represent her state and one of the first Korean American women elected to Congress. Oregonians elected their first Latina congressional members in 2022 – Andrea Salinas and Lori Chavez-DeRemer. Senator Markwayne Mullin, R-Oklahoma, is the first American Indian to serve in the Senate in two decades. Non-Hispanic white Members of Congress still hold a disproportionate share of seats compared to the overall population.
Mikes with a Gavel
The Republican Mikes who chair committees or subcommittee include:
- Congressman Mike Rogers, Alabama, House Armed Services
- Congressman Michael McCaul, Texas, House Foreign Services
- Congressman Mike Bost, Illinois, House Veterans Affairs
- Congressman Mike Turner, Ohio, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
- Congressman Mike Simpson, Idaho, House Appropriations Subcommittee on interior and Environment
- Congressman Mike Gallagher, Wisconsin, Select Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party Committee and House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee
- Congressman Michael Waltz, Florida, House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee
- Congressman Michael Guest, Mississippi, House Ethics Committee (acting chair)
- Congressman Mike Johnson, Louisiana, House Judiciary Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee
- Congressman Michael Cloud, Texas, House Oversight Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee
- Congressman Michael Burgess, Texas, House Rules Legislative and Budget Process Subcommittee
- Congressman Mike Kelly, Pennsylvania, House Ways and Means Select Revenue Subcommittee
The Democratic Mikes who are Ranking Members on committees:
- Congressman Mike Quigley, Illinois, House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee
- Congressman Mike Levin, California, House Veterans Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee
- Congressman Mike Thompson, California, House Ways and Means Select Revenue Subcommittee