List of Asian Americans and Pacific Islands Americans in the United States Congress

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Map of congressional districts represented by Asian Americans or Pacific Islands Americans in the 117th Congress.
  State currently has an Asian Senator
  State has in the past had an Asian Senator

This is a list of Asian Americans and Pacific Islands Americans in the U.S. Congress.

Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The term refers to a panethnic group that includes diverse populations, which have ancestral origins in East Asia, South Asia, or Southeast Asia, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.[1]

Pacific Islands Americans, also known as Oceanian Americans, Pacific Islander Americans or Native Hawaiian and/or other Pacific Islander Americans, are Americans who have ethnic ancestry among the indigenous peoples of Oceania (viz. Polynesians, Melanesians and Micronesians). For its purposes, the U.S. Census also counts Indigenous Australians as part of this group.[2][3]

As of 2021, there are 15 representatives and 3 senators of Asian-American descent who are currently serving in Congress. In addition, there are one representative and three non-voting delegates of Pacific Islander descent who currently are also serving. Since 1900, 20 Pacific Islanders have been elected to the House of Representatives (17 of them as non-voting Resident Commissioners, Delegates or Resident Representatives) and one has been elected to the U.S. Senate. Hawaii was the first territory to send a Pacific Islander to the House of Representatives (in 1900) and was also the first state to send a Pacific Islander to the U.S. Senate (in 1990). Since 1957, 38 Asian Americans have been elected to the House of Representatives and 9 to the U.S. Senate. Hawaii was the first of four states to send an Asian American to the Senate (1959) and Illinois is the most recent state to elect a senator of similar descent for the first time (2016). With respect to the House of Representatives, California was the first of 13 states to elect an Asian American to the House (1956), and New Jersey is the most recent to do so for the first time (2018). Three Asian-American women have been elected to the Senate (all three of whom currently are incumbents and represent California, Hawaii and Illinois, respectively), and 13 have been elected to the House (eight of whom currently are incumbents) from six separate states.

Senate

(Note: Senators are organized first in chronological order according to their first term in office, then second in alphabetical order according to their surname.)

Senator Asian and/or
Pacific Islander ethnicity
Party State Tenure Notes
Term start Term end Length of service
Sen. Fong Hiram Fong
(1906–2004)
[4]
Chinese Republican Hawaii August 21, 1959 January 3, 1977 17 years, 135 days Retired
Sen. Inouye Daniel Inouye
(1924–2012)
[5]
Japanese Democratic Hawaii January 3, 1963 December 17, 2012 49 years, 349 days Died in office
Sen. Hayakawa S. I. Hayakawa
(1906–1992)
Japanese Republican California January 2, 1977 January 3, 1983 6 years, 1 day Retired
Sen. Matsunaga Spark Matsunaga
(1916–1990)
Japanese Democratic Hawaii January 3, 1977 April 15, 1990 13 years, 102 days Died in office
Sen. Akaka Daniel Akaka
(1924–2018)
[6]
Hawaiian,
Chinese
Democratic Hawaii May 16, 1990 January 3, 2013 22 years, 232 days Retired
Sen. Ensign John Ensign
(born 1958)
Filipino Republican Nevada January 3, 2001 May 3, 2011 10 years, 120 days Resigned
Sen. Hirono Mazie Hirono
(born 1947)
[7]
Japanese Democratic Hawaii January 3, 2013 Incumbent 8 years, 9 days
Sen. Duckworth Tammy Duckworth
(born 1968)
[8]
Thai,
Chinese
Democratic Illinois January 3, 2017 Incumbent 4 years, 9 days
Sen. Harris Kamala Harris
(born 1964)
[9]
Indian Democratic California January 3, 2017 Incumbent 4 years, 9 days

House of Representatives

(Note: Representatives are organized first in chronological order according to their first term in office, then second in alphabetical order according to their surname.)

Representative Asian and/or
Pacific Islander ethnicity
Party State Tenure Notes
Term start Term end Length of service
Rep. Saund Dalip Singh Saund
(1899–1973)
[10]
Indian Democratic California January 3, 1957 January 3, 1963 6 years, 0 days Lost reelection
Rep. Inouye Daniel Inouye
(1924–2012)
[5]
Japanese Democratic Hawaii August 21, 1959 January 3, 1963 3 years, 135 days Retired to run successfully for U.S. Senator from Hawaii
Rep. Matsunaga Spark Matsunaga
(1916–1990)
Japanese Democratic Hawaii January 3, 1963 January 3, 1977 14 years, 0 days Retired to run successfully for U.S. Senator from Hawaii
Rep. Mink Patsy Mink
(1927–2002)
[11]
Japanese Democratic Hawaii January 3, 1965 January 3, 1971 12 years, 0 days Retired to run unsuccessfully in the Democratic Party primary for U.S. Senator from Hawaii
September 22, 1990 September 28, 2002 12 years, 6 days Died in office
Rep. Mineta Norman Mineta
(born 1931)[12]
Japanese Democratic California January 3, 1975 October 10, 1995 20 years, 280 days Resigned
Rep. Akaka Daniel Akaka
(1924–2018)
[6]
Hawaiian,
Chinese
Democratic Hawaii January 3, 1977 May 16, 1990 13 years, 133 days Resigned to accept appointment to the U.S. Senate.
Rep. Matsui Bob Matsui
(1941–2005)
Japanese Democratic California January 3, 1979 January 3, 2005 26 years, 0 days Died in office
Rep. Dymally Mervyn Dymally
(1926–2012)
[13]
Indian Democratic California January 3, 1981 January 3, 1993 12 years, 0 days Retired
Rep. Saiki Pat Saiki
(born 1930)[14]
Japanese Republican Hawaii January 3, 1987 January 3, 1991 4 years, 0 days Retired to run unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate.
Rep. Kim Jay Kim
(born 1939)
[15]
Korean Republican California January 3, 1993 January 3, 1999 6 years, 0 days Lost renomination
Rep. Scott Bobby Scott
(born 1947)
[16]
Filipino Democratic Virginia January 3, 1993 Incumbent 28 years, 9 days
Rep. Ensign John Ensign
(born 1958)[17]
Filipino Republican Nevada January 3, 1995 January 3, 1999 4 years, 0 days Retired to run unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate.
Rep. Wu David Wu
(born 1955)
[18]
Taiwanese Democratic Oregon January 3, 1999 August 3, 2011 12 years, 212 days Resigned
Rep. Honda Mike Honda
(born 1941)
Japanese Democratic California January 3, 2001 January 3, 2017 16 years, 0 days Lost reeelction
Rep. Jindal Bobby Jindal
(born 1971)
Indian Republican Louisiana January 3, 2005 January 14, 2008 3 years, 11 days Resigned to run successfully for Governor of Louisiana.
Rep. Matsui Doris Matsui
(born 1944)
Japanese Democratic California March 8, 2005 Incumbent 15 years, 310 days
Rep. Hirono Mazie Hirono
(born 1947)
[19]
Japanese Democratic Hawaii January 3, 2007 January 3, 2013 6 years, 0 days Retired to run successfully for U.S. Senate.
Rep. Austria Steve Austria
(born 1958)
Filipino Republican Ohio January 3, 2009 January 3, 2013 4 years, 0 days Retired
Rep. Cao Joseph Cao
(born 1967)
[20]
Vietnamese Republican Louisiana January 3, 2009 January 3, 2011 2 years, 0 days Lost reelection
Rep. Chu Judy Chu
(born 1953)
[21]
Chinese Democratic California July 14, 2009 Incumbent 11 years, 182 days
Rep. Djou Charles Djou
(born 1970)
[22]
Thai,
Chinese
Republican Hawaii May 22, 2010 January 3, 2011 226 days Lost reelection
Rep. Clarke Hansen Clarke
(born 1957)
[23]
Bangladeshi Democratic Michigan January 3, 2011 January 3, 2013 2 years, 0 days Lost renomination
Rep. Hanabusa Colleen Hanabusa
(born 1951)
Japanese Democratic Hawaii January 3, 2011 January 3, 2015 4 years, 0 days Retired to run successfully for U.S. Senate.
November 14, 2016 January 3, 2019 2 years, 50 days Retired to run unsuccessfully for Governor of Hawaii.
Rep. Bera Ami Bera
(born 1965)
Indian Democratic California January 3, 2013 Incumbent 8 years, 9 days
Rep. Duckworth Tammy Duckworth
(born 1968)
[8]
Thai,
Chinese
Democratic Illinois January 3, 2013 January 3, 2017 4 years, 0 days Retired to run successfully for U.S. Senate.
Rep. Gabbard Tulsi Gabbard
(born 1981)
[24]
Samoan Democratic Hawaii January 3, 2013 January 3, 2021 8 years, 0 days Retired after having run unsuccessfully for President
Rep. Meng Grace Meng
(born 1975)
[25]
Taiwanese Democratic New York January 3, 2013 Incumbent 8 years, 9 days
Rep. Takano Mark Takano
(born 1960)
[26]
Japanese Democratic California January 3, 2013 Incumbent 8 years, 9 days
Rep. Lieu Ted Lieu
(born 1969)
Taiwanese Democratic California January 3, 2015 Incumbent 6 years, 9 days
Rep. Takai Mark Takai
(1967–2016)
Japanese Democratic Hawaii January 3, 2015 July 20, 2016 1 year, 199 days Died in office
Rep. Jayapal Pramila Jayapal
(born 1965)
[27]
Indian Democratic Washington January 3, 2017 Incumbent 4 years, 9 days
Rep. Khanna Ro Khanna
(born 1976)
Indian Democratic California January 3, 2017 Incumbent 4 years, 9 days
Rep. Krishnamoorthi Raja Krishnamoorthi
(born 1973)
Indian Democratic Illinois January 3, 2017 Incumbent 4 years, 9 days
Rep. Murphy Stephanie Murphy
(born 1978)
[28]
Vietnamese Democratic Florida January 3, 2017 Incumbent 4 years, 9 days
TJ Cox, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg TJ Cox
(born 1963)
Filipino,
Chinese
Democratic California January 3, 2019 January 3, 2021 2 years, 0 days Lost reelection
Andy Kim, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg Andy Kim
(born 1982)
Korean Democratic New Jersey January 3, 2019 Incumbent 2 years, 9 days
Kai Kahele 117th U.S Congress.jpg Kai Kahele
(born 1974)
Hawaiian Democratic Hawaii January 3, 2021 Incumbent 9 days
Young Kim 117th U.S Congress.jpg Young Kim
(born 1962)[29]
Korean Republican California January 3, 2021 Incumbent 9 days
MichelleSteel.jpg Michelle Steel
(born 1955)[29]
Korean Republican California January 3, 2021 Incumbent 9 days
Marilyn Strickland 117th U.S Congress.jpg Marilyn Strickland
(born 1962)[30]
Korean Democratic Washington January 3, 2021 Incumbent 9 days

House delegates (non-voting members)

Resident Commissioners were representatives from the Philippines, then an American territory.[31][32][33] Two were elected at-large from 1907 to 1937, and a single Resident Commissioner from 1937 to 1946.

From 1978 to 2009, the Northern Mariana Islands elected a Resident Representative who had no actual privileges in the House.

(Note: Delegates are organized first in chronological order according to their first term in office, then second in alphabetical order according to their surname.)

Delegate Asian and/or
Pacific Islander ethnicity
Party Territory Tenure Notes
Term start Term end Length of service
Del. Wilcox Robert Wilcox
(1855–1903)
Hawaiian Home Rule Hawaii November 6, 1900 March 4, 1903 2 years, 118 days Lost reelection
Del. Kalanianaʻole Jonah Kalanianaʻole
(1871–1922)
Hawaiian Republican Hawaii March 4, 1903 January 7, 1922 18 years, 309 days Died in office.
Res. Comm. Legarda Benito Legarda
(1853–1915)
Filipino Federalist Philippine Islands November 22, 1907 March 4, 1912 4 years, 103 days Retired
Res. Comm. Ocampo Pablo Ocampo
(1853–1925)
Filipino Democrat Philippine Islands November 22, 1907 November 22, 1909 2 years, 0 days Retired
Res. Comm. Quezón Manuel L. Quezón
(1878–1944)
Filipino Nacionalista Philippine Islands November 23, 1909 October 15, 1916 6 years, 327 days Retired
Res. Comm. Earnshaw Manuel Earnshaw
(1862–1936)
Filipino Independent Philippine Islands March 4, 1913 March 4, 1917 4 years, 0 days Retired
Res. Comm. de Veyra Jaime C. de Veyra
(1873–1963)
Filipino Nacionalista Philippine Islands March 4, 1917 March 4, 1923 6 years, 0 days Retired
Res. Comm. Yangco Teodoro R. Yangco
(1861–1939)
Filipino,
Chinese
Independent Philippine Islands March 4, 1917 March 4, 1920 3 years, 0 days Retired
Res. Comm. Gabaldón Isauro Gabaldon
(1875–1942)
Filipino Nacionalista Philippine Islands March 4, 1920 July 16, 1928 8 years, 124 days Resigned
Res. Comm. Guevara Pedro Guevara
(1879–1938)
Filipino Nacionalista Philippine Islands March 4, 1923 February 14, 1936 12 years, 347 days Retired
Del. Jarrett William Jarrett
(1877–1929)
Hawaiian Democrat Hawaii March 4, 1923 March 4, 1927 4 years, 0 days Lost reelection.
Del. Houston Victor Houston
(1876–1959)
Hawaiian Republican Hawaii March 4, 1927 March 4, 1933 6 years, 0 days Lost reelection.
Res. Comm. Osías Camilo Osías
(1889–1976)
Filipino Nacionalista Philippine Islands March 4, 1929 January 3, 1935 5 years, 305 days Retired
Res. Comm. Delgado Francisco Afan Delgado
(1886–1964)
Filipino Nacionalista Philippine Islands January 3, 1935 February 14, 1936 1 year, 42 days Retired
Del. King Samuel King
(1886–1959)
Hawaiian Republican Hawaii January 3, 1935 January 3, 1943 8 years, 0 days Resigned
Res. Comm. Paredes Quintín Paredes
(1884–1973)
Filipino Nacionalista Philippines February 14, 1936 September 29, 1938 2 years, 228 days Resigned
Res. Comm. Elizalde Joaquín Miguel Elizalde
(1896-1965)
Filipino Independent Philippines September 29, 1938 August 9, 1944 5 years, 315 days Resigned.
Res. Comm. Romulo Carlos P. Romulo
(1899–1985)[34]
Filipino Liberal Philippines August 10, 1944 July 4, 1946 1 year, 328 days Resigned
Del. Won Pat Antonio Won Pat
(1908–1987)[35]
Chamorro,
Chinese
Democratic Guam January 3, 1973 January 3, 1985 12 years, 0 days Lost reelection.
Res. Rep. Pangelinan Eddie Pangelinan
(born 1945)
Chamorro Democratic (1978–1983) Northern Mariana Islands January 9, 1978 January 9, 1984 5 years, 130 days Lost reelection.
Republican (1983–1984)
Del. Sunia Fofó Sunia
(born 1937)[36]
Samoan Democratic American Samoa January 3, 1981 September 6, 1988 7 years, 247 days Resigned
Res. Rep. Tenorio Froilan Tenorio
(1939–2020)[37]
Chamorro Democratic Northern Mariana Islands January 9, 1984 January 8, 1990 5 years, 364 days Retired to run unsuccessfully for Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands
Del. Blaz Ben Blaz
(1928–2014)
Chamorro Republican Guam January 3, 1985 January 3, 1993 8 years, 0 days Lost reelection.
Del. Faleomavaega Eni Faleomavaega
(1943–2017)
Samoan Democratic American Samoa January 3, 1989 January 3, 2015 26 years, 0 days Lost reelection
Res. Rep. Babauta Juan Babauta
(born 1953)[38]
Chamorro,
Carolinian
Republican Northern Mariana Islands January 8, 1990 January 14, 2002 12 years, 6 days Retired to run successfully for Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands
Del. Underwood Robert Underwood
(born 1948)
Chamorro Democratic Guam January 3, 1993 January 3, 2003 10 years, 0 days Retired to run unsuccessfully for Governor of Guam
Res. Rep. Tenorio Pete Tenorio
(born 1941)
Chamorro Republican Northern Mariana Islands January 14, 2002 January 3, 2009 6 years, 355 days Office replaced by Delegate.
Lost election to new office.
Del. Sablan Gregorio Sablan
(born 1955)
Chamorro Independent
(2009)
Northern Mariana Islands January 3, 2009 Incumbent 12 years, 9 days
Democratic
(2009–2014)
Independent
(2014–present)
Del. Radewagen Amata Radewagen
(born 1947)
Samoan Republican American Samoa January 3, 2015 Incumbent 6 years, 9 days
Del. San Nicolas Mike San Nicolas
(born 1981)
Chamorro Democratic Guam January 3, 2019 Incumbent 2 years, 9 days

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Karen R. Humes; Nicholas A. Jones; Roberto R. Ramirez (March 2011). "Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  2. ^ University of Virginia. Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. "1990 PUMS Ancestry Codes." 2003. August 30, 2007."Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 25, 2007. Retrieved August 31, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ University of Michigan. Census 1990: Ancestry Codes. August 27, 2007
  4. ^ First Asian Pacific American elected to the Senate and first American of Chinese ancestry elected to Congress
  5. ^ a b First Japanese American elected to Congress.
  6. ^ a b First Native Hawaiian to serve as a voting member of Congress.
  7. ^ First Asian-American woman and first Buddhist elected to the Senate.
  8. ^ a b First disabled woman and first Thai-American woman elected to Congress.
  9. ^ Together with Pramila Jayapal, first Indian American woman elected to Congress. Also is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
  10. ^ First person of Indian ancestry elected to Congress.
  11. ^ First Asian-American woman elected to Congress. Later served as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
  12. ^ Later served as United States Secretary of Transportation
  13. ^ First Dougla elected to Congress. Also was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
  14. ^ Later served as Administrator of the Small Business Administration
  15. ^ First person of Korean ancestry elected to Congress.
  16. ^ First American-born Filipino elected to Congress. Also is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
  17. ^ Later elected as a U.S. Senator from Nevada
  18. ^ First Taiwanese American elected to Congress.
  19. ^ One of the first two Buddhists elected to Congress. Previosuly served as Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii.
  20. ^ First person of Vietnamese ancestry elected to Congress.
  21. ^ First Chinese American woman elected to Congress.
  22. ^ First Thai American elected to Congress.
  23. ^ First person of Bangladeshi ancestry elected to Congress. Also was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
  24. ^ First Hindu and first woman of Pacific Islander ancestry elected to Congress.
  25. ^ First Taiwanese American woman elected to Congress.
  26. ^ First openly gay person of color elected to Congress.
  27. ^ Together with Kamala Harris, first Indian American woman elected to Congress.
  28. ^ First Vietnamese American woman elected to Congress.
  29. ^ a b One of first Korean-American women elected to Congress.
  30. ^ One of first Korean-American women elected to Congress. Also is a member of Congressional Black Caucus.
  31. ^ "Map Layer Info". National Atlas of the United States. United States Department of the Interior. July 23, 2012. Archived from the original on January 4, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2012. The Philippines became a territory of the United States after the Spanish–American War.
  32. ^ Berhow, Mark (2012). American Defenses of Corregidor and Manila Bay 1898-1945. Osprey Publishing. p. 6. ISBN 9781782004356. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  33. ^ Pyong Gap, Min, ed. (2005). Asian Americans: Contemporary Trends and Issues. Pine Forge Press. p. 183. ISBN 9781412905565. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  34. ^ Final Philippine representative
  35. ^ First Chamorro delegate elected to U.S. Congress
  36. ^ First Samoan delegate elected to U.S. Congress.
  37. ^ Later served as Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands
  38. ^ First Carolinian delegate elected to U.S. Congress

Further reading

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