Haaland becomes first Native American woman to sit in Speaker’s chair, preside over House Floor

When a young woman of color sees me in the Speaker’s Chair, I want them to think ‘I can do that,’ that’s part of why I’m here,” says Representative Deb Haaland.

Representative Haaland presided over the debate on H.R. 1, the For the People Act, House Democrats’ transformative bill aimed at ending corruption in politics and ensuring fair access to the ballot box

News Release

Office of Representative Debra Haaland (D-NM-01)

On March 7, Representative Deb Haaland (D-NM-01) became the first Native American woman to sit in the Speaker’s chair during debate. Haaland presided over the debate on H.R. 1, the For the People Act. The For the People Act is House Democrats’ transformative bill aimed at ending corruption in politics and ensuring fair access to the ballot box.

“When a young woman of color sees me in the Speaker’s Chair, I want them to think ‘I can do that,’ that’s part of why I’m here,” said Representative Deb Haaland. “I want to help those who have not been represented before to identify with me and identify with Congress. It's their Congress too – it belongs to all of us.”

After Haaland took the rostrum, Congresswoman Sharice Davids, fellow Native American woman in Congress, posted the following powerful image:

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Representative Sharice Davids watches Haaland make history as the first Native American woman to sit in the Speakers chair and preside over the House Floor.(Photo: haaland.house.gov)

Haaland is a long-time organizer who has worked to increase access to the ballot box in New Mexico and particularly in Indian Country and rural areas for nearly twenty years. The For the People Act includes her Same Day Voter Registration bill, which will ensure anyone who shows up to vote has the opportunity to participate in democracy.

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