List of Arab and Middle-Eastern Americans in the United States Congress

This is a list of Arab Americans and Middle-Eastern Americans in the U.S. Congress. The first Arab American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives was George A. Kasem in 1959, and the first Arab-American U.S. Senator was James Abourezk in 1973. Currently, there are six U.S. Representatives and no U.S. Senators of Arab-American descent serving in Congress.[1][2] The first Assyrian American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives was Adam Benjamin in 1977,[3] and there currently is one Assyrian-American U.S. Representative serving in Congress.

Senate

Picture Senator
(lifespan)
Arab or Middle-Eastern Ethnicity Party State Term start Term end Notes
James Abourezk
(born 1931)
Lebanese Democratic South Dakota January 3, 1973 January 3, 1979 Retired
George J. Mitchell
(born 1933)
Lebanese Democratic Maine May 17, 1980 January 3, 1995 Retired
James Abdnor
(1923–2012)
Lebanese Republican South Dakota January 3, 1981 January 3, 1987 Lost reelection
Spencer Abraham
(born 1952)
Lebanese Republican Michigan January 3, 1995 January 3, 2001 Lost reelection
John E. Sununu
(born 1964)
Palestinian,
Lebanese
Republican New Hampshire January 3, 2003 January 3, 2009 Lost reelection

House of Representatives

Picture Representative
(lifespan)
Arab or Middle-Eastern Ethnicity Party State Term start Term end Notes
George A. Kasem
(1919–2002)
Lebanese Democratic California January 3, 1959 January 3, 1961 Lost reelection
Abraham Kazen
(1919–1987)
Lebanese Democratic Texas January 3, 1967 January 3, 1985 Lost renomination
James Abourezk
(born 1931)
Lebanese Democratic South Dakota January 3, 1971 January 3, 1973 Retired to run successfully for U.S. Senator from South Dakota
James Abdnor
(1923–2012)
Lebanese Republican South Dakota January 3, 1973 January 3, 1981 Retired to run successfully for U.S. Senator from South Dakota
Toby Moffett
(born 1944)
Lebanese Democratic Connecticut January 3, 1975 January 3, 1983 Retired to run unsuccessfully for U.S. Senator from Connecticut
Adam Benjamin
(1935–1982)
Assyrian Democratic Indiana January 3, 1977 September 7, 1982 Died in office
Mary Rose Oakar
(born 1940)
Lebanese,
Syrian
Democratic Ohio January 3, 1977 January 3, 1993 Lost reelection
Nick Rahall
(born 1949)
Lebanese Democratic West Virginia January 3, 1977 January 3, 2015 Lost reelection
Pat Danner
(born 1934)
Lebanese Democratic Missouri January 3, 1993 January 3, 2001 Retired
Anna Eshoo
(born 1942)
Assyrian Republican California January 3, 1993 present
John Baldacci
(born 1955)
Lebanese Democratic Maine January 3, 1995 August 3, 2003 Retired to run successfully for Governor of Maine
Ray LaHood
(born 1945)
Lebanese Republican Illinois January 3, 1995 January 3, 2009 Retired to become U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Chris John
(born 1960)
Lebanese Democratic Louisiana January 3, 1997 January 3, 2005 Retired to run unsuccessfully for U.S. Senator from Louisiana
John E. Sununu
(born 1964)
Palestinian,
Lebanese
Republican New Hampshire January 3, 1997 January 3, 2003 Retired to run successfully for U.S. Senator from New Hampshire
Darrell Issa
(born 1953)
Lebanese Republican California January 3, 2001 present
Charles Boustany
(born 1956)
Lebanese Republican Louisiana January 3, 2005 January 3, 2017 Retired to run unsuccessfully for U.S. Senator from Louisiana
Justin Amash
(born 1980)
Palestinian,
Syrian
Republican Michigan January 3, 2011 present
Richard L. Hanna
(born 1951)
Lebanese Republican New York January 3, 2011 January 3, 2017 Retired
Ralph Abraham
(born 1954)
Lebanese Republican Louisiana January 3, 2015 present
Gwen Graham
(born 1963)
Lebanese Democratic Florida January 3, 2015 January 3, 2017 Retired
Garret Graves
(born 1972)
Lebanese Republican Louisiana January 3, 2015 present
Darin LaHood
(born 1968)
Lebanese Republican Illinois September 10, 2015 present
Charlie Crist
(born 1956)
Lebanese Democratic Florida January 3, 2017 present

References

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