Age discrimination laws have disappeared in recent decades, but at the same time, there is the issue of members of Congress staying on into their 80s in growing numbers, and one has to wonder if that is good for the nation at large, or whether it helps to promote the image of Congress being out of sync with the nation, and preventing a younger generation of “fresh blood” from having opportunity to serve in Congress.
Presently, there are eight Senators and eleven House members who are in their 80s, and there are others in both chambers nearing 80 over the next few years.
Seven Republicans and one Democrat in the Senate, and eight Democrats and three Republicans in the House of Representatives are now in their 80s, and there is no indication that the House members are planning to retire in 2018.
Four of the House members are in the upper 80s right now—Democrats Sander Levin of Michigan who is 86; Democrat John Conyers of Michigan who is 88; Democrat Louise Slaughter who is 88; and Republican Sam Johnson of Texas who is 87.
Meanwhile, three of the eight Senators were just reelected to terms ending in 2022—Richard Shelby of Alabama who will be 88 then; John McCain of Arizona who will be 86 then; and Chuck Grassley of Iowa who will be 89 then.
Three others have terms ending in 2020—Pat Roberts of Kansas who will be 84 then; Thad Cochran of Mississippi who will be 83 then; and James Inhofe of Oklahoma who will be 86 then.
The other two Senators face election in 2018–Diane Feinstein of California who will be 85; and Orrin Hatch of Utah who will be 84.
The aging of Congress has been a growing trend, and it does not bode well for the future, as far as public support for Congress is concerned.
There is no realistic possibility of legislated age limits, but the growing number of octogenarians in Congress is not a good development.
I am watching the House debate on the health care bill, and I am ashamed for the women of this country!
The Republican women are on C Span making fools of themselves, looking like total morons! They are so mean spirited and self centered, not giving a damn for their own gender or the American people! Where did the GOP scrape up these women who show so little concern and compassion for those less fortunate in this country, who need health care? These women are being totally dishonest in their propaganda attacks on the legislation being considered!
The fact that Ileana Ros Lehtinen of Miami could be stupid enough to join this group of Republican women would be condemned by her predecessor in her district, the distinguished Claude Pepper!
And the ultimate example of the stupidity and mean spirited nature of these Republican women is Michele Bachmann, who tells us the bill would be destructive of the “economic economy”! Huh? What a moron and embarrassment this religious zealot is, joining Sarah Palin as examples of why women like them should not have any power in our political system, since they have absolutely no brains or compassion and are a disgrace to the American political system!
At the same time, I wish now to applaud Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York, who is presently making a fantastic statement in support of health care and applauding the efforts of Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon (Yes, a Republican President) to promote better health care, setting a standard for what is now long overdue–true health care reform for all Americans!
There is no way I can see that the majority of intelligent, compassionate women in America will vote Republican after this disgraceful display of stupidity, selfishness, self centeredness and meanspiritedness being displayed by the Republican women members of the House of Representatives!