Why does the U.S. Congress Have So Many Geriatric Members?
Is this about representation or holding on to power, perks and money?
By Katy Grimes, January 3, 2021 2:05 am
The United States has a rather aged Congress. It’s not just the leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, ages 80 and 78 respectively, but over half of the members of both the House and the Senate are over age 65.
Today, 65 may be the new 50 if we are talking about healthy, physically fit 65-year olds, but in most other professions and industries, 65-year olds are strongly encouraged to retire, or limit their work and clients. The breadth of experience in the older employee is recognized as invaluable, but there is a point of diminishing return when cognitive difficulties are evident. And at some point it appears almost cruel to pretend otherwise.
If the more elderly members of Congress ran for local political offices instead – City Council and County Supervisor seats – they likely would not be elected as local voters would recognize that they had reached an age where they should retire, save for a few vibrant and relevant ones. But tucked away safely in Washington D.C., away from local prying eyes and local scrutiny, these incumbents continue to be reelected.
This is clearly becoming a serious issue. And it’s not a Republican or Democrat thing – it’s an issue in both political parties. These Senior members of Congress hold some of the most important committee positions, dealing with national security, defense and the military, appropriations, homeland security, judiciary, and are privy to national secrets.
With 87-year old U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) reportedly having very public cognitive issues, this is a serious situation. Who is Feinstein’s handler, because surely she has one? Who finishes her sentences for her? Who directs her to the next meeting? Who prepares cheat sheets of notes for her? Who runs interference for Feinstein with the media? Who made her 20-year Chinese spy staffer problem go away?
The Globe reported that Richard Blum, Dianne Feinstein’s husband, is in talks with the Biden transition committee about an ambassadorship, as a deal, and gentle way to ease the 87-year-old Feinstein out of office.
80-year old House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) certainly has her own age-related issues, despite some of the best medical care in the world, and a talented plastic surgeon. To call Pelosi awkward during television interviews is an understatement. She slurs her words, appears unable to finish a sentence, makes weird jerky movements with her hands, and does that funny thing with her lips over her teeth. Pelosi loses her temper very quickly when asked a real question, similar to Joe Biden’s reaction. Pelosi was a very attractive woman for many years, and likely would still be if she hadn’t messed with Mother Nature. But we all age – there is no cheating the aging process.
UPDATE: Nancy Pelosi was just re-elected as House Speaker Sunday January 3, as were Senator Leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Shumer.
My 76-year old Congressional Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) hasn’t been seen in her California district in ages. We hear she recently remarried a very wealthy older fellow. The happy couple even bought a $1.7 million home for cash in August facing a beautiful regional park in downtown Sacramento, but it is evident she hasn’t been there once. The home sits empty just so Matsui can now claim she actually owns a residence in her district.
Former Senator Strom Thurmond remained in the U.S. Senate to age 100, was witnessed nodding off frequently, visibly confused and obviously unable to adequately perform his job. Sen. John McCain was 81 when he passed away, and there were many reports that he wasn’t doing well during chemotherapy treatments for glioblastoma, despite still holding office.
Former Vice President, now presumed President-Elect Joe Biden, is clearly suffering from some form of dementia, while his wife, the media and everyone in the Democrat Party diabolically pretends otherwise. “That’s just Joe,” we are told.
How many times during the last four years did members of the media claim President Donald Trump had dementia? Or some obscure university psychologist would make a television diagnosis of the President on MSNBC or CNN? These same people ignore real dementia in the presumed President-elect, and issues with aging members of Congress.
With so many aged members of Congress, there must be stories like these in every state.
While most Americans are looking to retire as they near age 65 or 70, it appears members of Congress are just getting warmed up as they age. They’ve been in office so many years, their special interest funders need them to remain. And that is the real priority – special interests, rather than constituents, particularly for members in office for decades.
The U.S. House of Representatives, with a total of 435 members from 50 states, has 10 members 80 and older.
Most 80-year olds are enjoying retirement and their grandkids.
The U.S. House of Representatives has 21 members between age 75 and 80.
Most 75-year olds are retired, traveling and golfing.
The U.S. House of Representatives has 108 members between ages 65 and 74.
Most 65-year olds are either knocking on the door of retirement, or are retired from government, enjoying a nice pension and making travel plans.
The U.S. Senate, with 101 members from 50 states, has 7 members 80 and older.
The U.S. Senate has 22 members between the ages of 65 and 70, and 21 members between the ages of 70 and 79.
Here you can download our list of House and Senate members and their ages:
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10 thoughts on “Why does the U.S. Congress Have So Many Geriatric Members?”
In the same vein, a Washington D.C. pharmacist claimed that he fills a goodly amount of Alzheimer’s related prescriptions for various members of congress. Here, take your pick of articles on that subject:
Now wouldn’t be interesting if we all knew exactly who those congressional members were?
If somebody has their head in straight and all their marbles, then I don’t care how old they are. (I’m thinking of Ron Paul here.) That, and youth and vibrancy are no guarantees of intelligence and good sense; just look at the BLM and Antifa folks to see what a deficit of both gets you. But if somebody requires multiple handlers simply to remind them what day it is, then you have to question if they’re at all qualified to make decisions that affect the lives of others and the nation.
Just a thought.
VICB3 – I remember that and have wondered the same. It was hushed up so quickly, I wondered if the pharmacist was silenced.
Of course he was silenced. These people, both parties, are thick as thieves.
The age alone is not the problem, the decline in performance is…
Feinstein should have been bounced years ago, as should Pelosi…
Term limits both State and Federal. Transparent elections and end this “ballot harvesting” nonsense
this has been there from the start and is a democracy flaw.
People like Feinstein have to stay in power to head off investigations into their corruption. The corruption keeps the money flowing and who does not love millions or billions of free money and all that power? Term Limits!
Because there are no term limits so they will die there.
Term limits are not the answer, example California.
There reason there are so many very old people in Congress is because they are the deal makers who will sell their integrity and souls for money and power. Now they have the money and together they have power as demonstrated over the past four years of Presidential harassment, specifically this past covid election year and most especially this past week. The goal now is to cripple America to prevent a rebirth of the Republic before they all croak as part of the china deal.