5 AAPI Legislators Making History in the 118th Congress

“I want to help people achieve their American dream.”

2 min readMay 9, 2024


As of 2024, more AAPI legislators than ever are serving in Congress, according to the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.

In 2023, a record 21 AAPI legislators were sworn into the 118th Congress—several of whom marked historic firsts with their swearing-in.

Here’s a look at five AAPI leaders making history in the 118th Congress.

1. Michigan Rep. Shri Thanedar

Democratic Rep. Shri Thanedar made history in 2022 as the first Indian American elected to Congress from Michigan.

Thanedar represents Michigan’s 13th District in the House. He previously served in the Michigan state House.

Thanedar also made history on another front: he is the first person of Marathi background to be elected to Congress.

2. California Rep. Ted Lieu

California Rep. Ted Lieu was elected vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus in 2022, becoming the first AAPI leader in the role.

Lieu represents California’s 36th District in the House. He is the highest-ranking AAPI leader in Congress.

3. Guam Del. Jim Moylan

Guam Del. Jim Moylan made history in 2022 as the first Republican elected to represent Guam in Congress in 30 years.

Prior to the U.S. House, Moylan served in the Guam legislature.

4. Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono

Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono is continuing to make history as Hawaii’s longest-serving member of Congress.

In 2013, Hirono became the first Asian woman elected to the Senate. She will be up for reelection in 2024.

5. California Rep. Doris Matsui

California Rep. Doris Matsui is the only current member of Congress to have been born in the internment camps.

Matsui was born in an internment camp at Poston, Arizona in 1944. She won reelection in 2022 by 46.6 points.

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