Recent health issues among members of the U.S. Congress have ignited discussions surrounding the age of politicians in the legislative branch, according to a Fox News report.
There are no age restriction for legislators, and many lawmakers, including those over the age of 80, remain active in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The average age of a House member is 57, whereas in the Senate, it is 64, according to a Fox News report.
Of the 435 members of the House, 15 are aged 80 or above, the report noted. Four of the 100 U.S. Senate members are 80 or older, the report added, noting Sen. Dianne Feinstein recently turned 90.
Representatives who are age 80 or older include California Democrat Grace Napolitano, 86; D.C. Democrat delegate Eleanor Norton, 86; Kentucky Republican Hal Rogers, 85; New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell Jr., 86; California Democrat Maxine Waters, 84; Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer, 84; South Carolina Democrat Jim Clyburn, 83; California Democrat Nancy Pelosi, 83; Illinois Democrat Danny Davis, 81; Texas Republican John Carter, 82; California Democrat Anna Eshoo, 80; Florida Democrat Fredrica Wilson, 80; Connecticut Democrat Rosa DeLauro, 80; North Carolina Republican Virginia Foxx, 80; and Texas Republican Kay Granger, 80.
Senators who are age 80 or older include California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, 90; Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, 89; Vermont independent Bernie Sanders, 81; and Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell, 81.
The discussion surrounding age, however, isn’t just about numbers. Recent health complications of certain lawmakers have intensified the debate.
Feinstein’s hospitalization, due to “falls and health complications,” and Senator Mitch McConnell’s brief lapses during a press conference, raised questions about their ability to continue serving effectively in office.
As lawmakers continue to work despite their advancing age, the topic of age restrictions and term limits for congressional service has become a focal point of discussion.
Proponents argue that such measures might ensure better health and consistent performance, while critics believe that experience and wisdom can often outweigh the physical challenges of age.
While the debate continues in the legislative branch, it’s worth noting that the head of the executive branch, President Joe Biden, is also advancing in age. The octagenarian is the oldest president in U.S. history.
If President Biden wins next year’s general election, he will begin his second term at age 82.
The aging of Congress raises a broader question of fitness to serve, especially when considering the intense service cycle senators and representatives face.
McConnell’s momentary pause during a press briefing and Feinstein’s noticeable speech difficulties have sparked concerns and debates about the appropriate age and health status for public service.