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Twins, sons and happy meals: Things the 118th Congress will have that the 117th does not

Rep.-elect Morgan Luttrell, left, speaks on a panel with his brother, Marcus Luttrell, during the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2021 in Dallas.
Rep.-elect Morgan Luttrell, left, speaks on a panel with his brother, Marcus Luttrell, during the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2021 in Dallas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

More twins in Texas. A Gen Z switcheroo. A father-son tag team. And if you want to supersize your order, there’s one more guy with experience with that.

Control of the House and Senate may still be up in the air, but there are some things that we do know about the upcoming 118th Congress. Here are some highlights, based on biographical information from House and Senate historians’ websites, the congressional Biographical Directory and CQ Roll Call’s member profiles and data.

  • Vermont became the last of the 50 states to elect or appoint a woman to Congress with the election of Becca Balint, the president pro tempore of the state Senate.
  • Rep.-elect Rob Menendez and Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey will be the first father and son pairing in Congress since Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. The two Pauls served together during the 112th Congress from 2011 to 2013. The last time the son was in the House and the father in the Senate was when Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy were together in 2009.
  • Oklahoma Republican Sen.-elect Markwayne Mullin, a member of the Cherokee Nation, is the first Native American since Colorado Republican Ben Nighthorse Campbell to serve in the Senate. Campbell, who was also a Northern Cheyenne chief, was in office from 1993 to 2005.
  • Mullin will also join Rep. Tom Cole and Rep.-elect Josh Brecheen as the largest delegation of Native Americans in the Oklahoma congressional delegation in 100 years. University of Oklahoma professor Charles J. Finocchiaro said in an email that the three previous Native American members representing Oklahoma at the same time were Democratic Sen. Robert Owen and Democratic Reps. Charles Carter and William Hastings from 1923 to 1925.
  • Florida Democrat Maxwell Alejandro Frost, who was born in 1997, will be the first member of Generation Z in Congress. He is set to replace outgoing North Carolina Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who was ousted in a primary, as the youngest member of the next Congress. Cawthorn was the first member of Congress born in the 1990s.
  • The number of members born in the 1930s will continue to shrink. Only seven representatives and senators plus Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., are set to return. The 117th Congress started with more than 10 members born in that decade.
  • Texas’ House delegation welcomes a third member who has a twin, Republican Morgan Luttrell. Fellow Republican Troy Nehls and Democrat Joaquin Castro are the other House members from Texas with twin siblings.
  • North Carolina Republican Chuck Edwards joins fellow Republican Kevin Hern from Oklahoma as one of two members who have worked as McDonald’s franchisees before coming to Congress.
  • After Ohio Republican Steve Chabot’s second defeat for reelection, the House no longer has any remaining so-called Gingrich revolutionaries, the Republican members who flipped seats in 1994 under planning by Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich. Of this group, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Roger Wicker of Mississippi still serve in the Senate.

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