04.11.11 - Catholics in 109th Congress
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Summary: At 29 percent of 109th Congress, Catholics remain largest faith group.

Catholics will make up 29 percent of the 109th Congress when it convenes in early January, with a slight rise in the number of Catholic Republicans and a similar drop in the number of Catholic Democrats.

With 128 voting representatives and 24 senators identifying themselves as Catholics in a survey by Congressional Quarterly, Catholicism remains the largest single religious affiliation claimed by members of the new Congress. Baptists were second, with 65 House members and seven senators.

According to an analysis of the data by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Government Liaison, the number of Catholic senators was unchanged at 24. But the defeat of Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and the election win of Republican Mel Martinez of Florida left the Senate numbers at 11 Catholic Republicans and 13 Catholic Democrats, compared to 10 Republicans and 14 Democrats in the 108th Congress.

Two other new senators—Democrat Ken Salazar of Colorado and Republican David Vitter of Louisiana—also are Catholic.

Similarly, the number of Catholics in the House of Representatives increased by four, from 126 to 130, according to the USCCB analysis, which included nonvoting Delegates Luis Fortuno, a Republican representing Puerto Rico, and Madeleine Bordallo, a Democrat from Guam. But the number of Catholic Democrats declined by one from 73 to 72, according to the USCCB analysis. Catholic Republicans in the House increased by five, from 53 to 58. Catholics make up 30 percent of the House membership of the 109th Congress.

The 540 members of Congress include 100 senators, 435 representatives and five nonvoting members, who include four delegates, from the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa and the Virgin Islands, and one resident commissioner from Puerto Rico.

After Catholics and Baptists, the most-represented denominations in the 109th Congress are Methodists, at 63 in both houses; Presbyterians, at 50; Episcopalians, at 41; and Lutherans, at 20. Another 38 members of Congress identified themselves as Christians, without specifying a denomination, and seven listed no religious background.

Eleven senators and 26 House members identified themselves as Jewish, while 11 representatives and five senators said they belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Other faith groups represented in the 109th Congress include the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Christian Reformed Church, Christian Scientist, Community of Christ, Disciples of Christ, Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostal, Quaker, Seventh-day Adventist, Unitarian and United Church of Christ and Congregationalist.

In its analysis of the ethnic makeup of the 109th Congress, Congressional Quarterly said the number of African-Americans in Congress had increased by four with one in the Senate and 42 in the House. All are Democrats.

The number of Hispanics in Congress was up two in the Senate—one Democrat and one Republican—and increased by one in the House to 24—19 Democrats and five Republicans.

Asian-American representation in Congress remained the same at two senators and three House members, all Democrats, while the number of American Indians dropped by two to none in the Senate and one in the House, Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma.

Rep. Bobby Jindal, a Republican from Louisiana and a Catholic, becomes the only member of Asian Indian heritage in the 109th Congress and only the second Asian-American representative in history.

The number of women senators remained the same at 14—10 Democrats and four Republicans—while the 65 women in the House—42 Democrats and 23 Republicans—represented a net increase of five.

Here are the Catholics in the 109th Congress:

Senate Republicans: Sam Brownback, Kansas; James Bunning, Kentucky; Susan Collins, Maine; Michael DeWine, Ohio; Peter Domenici, New Mexico; Mel Martinez, Florida; Lisa Murkowski, Alaska; Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania; John Sununu, New Hampshire; David Vitter, Louisiana; George Voinovich, Ohio.

Senate Democrats: Maria Cantwell, Washington; Joe Biden, Delaware; Chris Dodd, Connecticut; Richard Durbin, Illinois; Tom Harkin, Iowa; Ted Kennedy, Massachusetts; John Kerry, Massachusetts; Mary Landrieu, Louisiana; Pat Leahy, Vermont; Barbara Mikulski, Maryland; Patty Murray, Washington; Jack Reed, Rhode Island; Ken Salazar, Colorado.

House Republicans: Bob Beauprez, Colorado; Sherry Boehlert, New York; John Boehner, Ohio; Kevin Brady, Texas; Ginny Brown-Waite, Florida; David Camp, Michigan; Mike Castle, Delaware; Steve Chabot, Ohio; Chris Cox, California; Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Florida; Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida; Phil English, Pennsylvania; Michael Ferguson, New Jersey; Mike Fitzpatrick, Pennsylvania; Mark Foley, Florida; Jeff Fortenberry, Nebraska; Luis Fortuno, Puerto Rico; Vito Fossella, New York; Virginia Foxx, North Carolina; Phil Gingrey, Georgia; Gil Gutknecht, Minnesota; Mark Green, Wisconsin; Melissa Hart, Pennsylvania; Kenny Hulshof, Missouri; Henry Hyde, Illinois.

Also, Walter Jones Jr., North Carolina; Bobby Jindal, Louisiana; Mark Kennedy, Minnesota; Peter King, New York; Steve King, Iowa; Joe Knollenberg, Michigan; Ray LaHood, Illinois, Frank LoBiondo, New Jersey; Dan Lungren, California; Connie Mack, Florida; Michael McCaul, Texas; Thaddeus McCotter, Michigan; Patrick McHenry, North Carolina; John McHugh, New York; Timothy Murphy, Pennsylvania; Bob Ney, Ohio; Anne Northup, Kentucky; Devin Nunes, California; Butch Otter, Idaho; Richard Pombo, California; Jon Porter, Nevada; George Radanovich, California; Rick Renzi, Arizona; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida; Ed Royce, California; Paul Ryan, Wisconsin; Joe Schwarz, Michigan; Clay Shaw, Florida; Chris Smith, New Jersey; John Sullivan, Oklahoma; John Sweeney, New York; Patrick Tiberi, Ohio; and James Walsh, New York.

House Democrats: Joe Baca, California; Xavier Becerra, California; Timothy Bishop, New York; Madeleine Bordallo, Guam; Robert Brady, Pennsylvania; Mike Capuano, Massachusetts; Dennis Cardoza, California; William Clay, Missouri; Jim Costa, California; Jerry Costello, Illinois; Joe Crowley, New York; Henry Cuellar, Texas; Peter DeFazio, Oregon; Bill Delahunt, Massachusetts; Rosa DeLauro, Connecticut; John Dingell, Michigan; Mike Doyle, Pennsylvania; Anna Eshoo, California; Lane Evans, Illinois; Charlie Gonzalez, Texas; Raul Grijalva, Arizona; Luis Gutierrez, Illinois; Brian Higgens, New York; Maurice Hinchey, New York; Ruben Hinojosa, Texas; Tim Holden, Pennsylvania; Paul Kanjorski, Pennsylvania.

Also, Marcy Kaptur, Ohio; Patrick Kennedy, Rhode Island; Dale Kildee, Michigan; Dennis Kucinich, Ohio; James Langevin, Rhode Island; John Larson, Connecticut; Dan Lipinski, Illinois; Stephen Lynch, Massachusetts; Ed Markey, Massachusetts; Jim Marshall, Georgia; Carolyn McCarthy, New York; Betty McCollum, Michigan; James McGovern, Massachusetts; Mike McNulty, New York; Cynthia McKinny, Georgia; Marty Meehan, Massachusetts; Robert Menendez, New Jersey; Michael Michaud, Maine; George Miller, California; James Moran, Virginia; John Murtha, Pennsylvania.

Also, Grace Napolitano, California; Richard Neal, Massachusetts; James Oberstar, Minnesota; David Obey, Wisconsin; Frank Pallone, New Jersey; Bill Pascrell, New Jersey; Ed Pastor, Arizona; Nancy Pelosi, California; Charlie Rangel, New York; Silvestre Reyes, Texas; Lucille Roybal-Allard, California; Tim Ryan, Ohio; John Salazar, Colorado; Linda Sanchez, California; Loretta Sanchez, California; Jose Serrano, New York; Hilda Solis, California; Bart Stupak, Michigan; Ellen Tauscher, California; Gene Taylor, Mississippi; Mike Thompson, California; Nydia Velazquez, New York; Peter Visclosky, Indiana; and Diane Watson, California.

Source: Catholic News Service

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