Steny Hoyer

The Aging Of Leadership A Major Problem With Presidential Succession And Otherwise!

The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 has now set up a situation where the present Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Patrick Leahy, are both 82 years old, born five days apart in March 1940.

Next year, Dianne Feinstein could be the President Pro Tempore at past 89, as she was born in June 1933, and there are signs of her seemingly having dementia interfering with her ability to do her work.

This presents the problem of aging leadership, which has to include in discussion President Joe Biden, who will be 80 in November, but also senior Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who will be 89 in September, and would be President Pro Tempore of the Senate, if the Republicans regain control this fall.

We have never had such an aging leadership in American history, as so many others in leadership are in their late 70s or nearing 80 and over.

The second and third House leaders are in their 80s–House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who will be 83 in June, and James Clyburn, the House Majority Whip, who will be 82 in July.

And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is 80 years old.

It is time for a new generation of leadership!

50-50 US Senate Massive Crisis If One Democrat Is Sick Or Were To Pass Away!

The news that New Mexico freshman Senator Ben Ray Lujan, age 49, one of the 12 youngest Senators, has suffered a stroke and will need to recover, is a shock to the reality of the massive crisis that exists if a Democrat is sick as he is, or were to pass away.

The Senate has become an older body in recent years, and with seven Senators over 80 and 30 Senators in their 70s, it is a very delicate situation if any Senator of either party is indisposed or was to die.

It means, for now, that action on even the Supreme Court nominee will likely have to be delayed as Lujan recovers, with all good wishes from everyone, but the thought that one of the older Senators in the Democratic Party could suddenly die, could lead to Mitch McConnell and the Republicans taking over the Senate before the election results of 2022 are in!

The average age of Senators is about 63 and 58 for the House of Representatives.

And the top three leaders in the House–Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn–are all in their early 80s, as is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is 80 this month of February.

And of course, Joe Biden is 79, and so many other key figures in American national government are in their 70s and 80s!

So the aging of American government is a major threat to stability!

Future Democratic House Of Representatives Leadership–Hakeem Jeffries Vs Adam Schiff Likely Choice!

It seems clear that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will give up leadership in the House of Representatives after the Midterm Elections in November 2022.

Pelosi had pledged she would do so, back in 2018, so it would be difficult to change her mind.

There is the argument that the Democrats need younger House leadership, since Pelosi is 82 this coming March; House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is 83 this coming June; and House Majority Whip James Clyburn is 82 this coming July.

There has never been a situation in which the top three House leaders are all octogenarians, although all three are very alert and competent.

As one looks ahead to the future, at this moment, the major competition for the Democratic leadership in 2023, whether majority or minority in the House of Representatives, seems to be between Hakeem Jeffries of New York, and Adam Schiff of California.

If Jeffries who is now 51 and has been in Congress since 2013 becomes the leader, he would be the first African American leader of either party. He is 5th ranking Democrat in the House as the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. He was one of the seven House managers in the first Senate impeachment trial in January 2020 against President Donald Trump.

If Adam Schiff, who has been in Congress since 2001 becomes the leader, he would be the first Jewish House leader, although Chuck Schumer is now Senate Majority Leader. He is Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and was the lead manager, heading a group of seven, in the first Trump impeachment trial in 2020.

A Need For An Age Limit In Congress!

The news that Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley at age 88 has announced for an eighth term which would take him to age 95 is a sign of the craziness of members of Congress, having no concept of retirement!

Senator Diane Feinstein of California is also 88, and will serve until past age 91. It has been noted that her short term memory is faltering, and that rumors have it that she yells at staff because she is not fully aware of what she is doing, or what she has been told about regarding her ability to do her job.

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe just won a new term at age 86, and will serve what he calls his last term to 2026, when he will be 92!

Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy plans to run again in 2022 when he will be 82, meaning he would be in office until age 88 in 2028.

The other Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders is now 80, and likely would run for reelection in 2024, meaning he would reach age 89 in 2030.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky would be 80 by February 2022, and will be in office until at least 84 plus in 2026.

Idaho Senator Jim Risch, just reelected in 2020, will be past age 83 at the end of 2026.

Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, reelected in 2018, will be 81 by 2024.

Independent Senator Angus King of Maine will be 80 by the end of his present term in 2024.

Only Alabama Senator Richard Shelby is retiring in 2022, at age 88 plus, the only Senator deciding it is time to leave.

Additionally, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin will be 82 at the end of his present Senate term in 2026.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, expected to run for another term in 2022, would be nearing age 83 in 2028.

And there are six other Senators who would be 80 or past 80 by 2026, so a theoretical total of 17 Senators will be octogenarians (with two over 90) by that year!

Additionally, there are close to 50 House members who will be past 80 by 2026, and among the ten oldest are the three Democratic House leaders–Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Nancy Pelosi of California, and James Clyburn of South Carolina, all over 80 at this stage!

There needs to be some kind of age limit with a range of 80-85 at the most, but the problem is that Congress would have to enact such legislation or have a constitutional amendment, but it is highly unlikely that will ever occur!

Happy Birthday, President Elect Biden! A True Hero Of Courage, Principle, Decency, Sincerity As You Face The Greatest Crisis Since Franklin D. Roosevelt

Today is the 78th Birthday of President Elect Joe Biden, a true hero of courage, principle, decency and sincerity.

Joe Biden needs all of our prayers as he faces the most difficult transition and multiple crises since Franklin D. Roosevelt 88 years ago.

With President Donald Trump refusing to concede and promote the transition, the nation is in a crisis far worse than after FDR defeated Herbert Hoover in 1932.

Those two Presidents did not get along, but even Hoover conceded while being bitter over his defeat. But Trump is preventing the General Services Administration head Emily Murphy from authorizing the release of funds and access to secret intelligence information that the President Elect needs to move forward as the inauguration takes place exactly two months from today, 61 days of stress and tension that should not be occurring.

Joe Biden is handling this mess very well, and is to be commended, and he is proving every day how stable he is mentally despite all of the critics who claim he shows signs of dementia, pure propaganda!

What is true is that the nastiness of Republicans of the same age bracket demonstrates how they, not Joe Biden, have signs of dementia, and this author and blogger is referring to Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and Mitch McConnell in the forefront!

Their hatred and bigotry shows through, while Democrats who are in the same age bracket show total signs of capacity and decency just as much as Joe Biden, and this author and blogger is referring to such people as Nancy Pelosi, James Clyburn, Steny Hoyer, Bernie Sanders, and John Kerry!

Nancy Pelosi’s Likely Last Term As Speaker Of The House In 2021-2022

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is highly controversial, criticized by left wing progressives in her party, but even more vilified by the Republican opposition in the House and Republican Senators, and totally attacked by the right wing propaganda machine and President Donald Trump.

But it seems to this blogger and author that Nancy Pelosi will stand out in history as one of the most outstanding Speakers in American history.

She has guts, courage, stamina, and is not intimidated by powerful men, and that fact drives Donald Trump and his minions to the point of insanity!

Trump is clearly intimidated by Pelosi’s tough exterior and great bargaining powers.

Pelosi has been the leader of the Democratic Party in Congress for nearly a generation, being Minority Leader from 2003-2007, and again from 2011-2019, along with being Speaker of the House twice, from 2007-2011, and again from 2019 to the present. She has been a member of Congress from San Francisco since 1987.

Pelosi is now 80, and has agreed to leave the Speakership by the end of 2022, when she will be past 82 and a half in age.

There is a feeling of a need for new younger leadership, as the top three positions are held by three octogenarians–Pelosi; House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who is presently 81, and has been in Congress since 1981, nearing 40 years; and James Clyburn of South Carolina, House Majority Whip , who is presently 80, and has been in Congress since 1993, nearly 28 years.

This team of Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn have been very successful, but it now seems likely that all three will run for their last term this fall, and leave by the end of 2022, hopefully while Joe Biden is President.

Who might replace them is not totally clear, but if one looks at lower ranking leadership right now in the House majority, it would seem as if such members of the House as the following might rise to the top leadership:

Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Democratic Caucus Chair

Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, Democratic Caucus Vice Chair

David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Policy and Communications Committee Chair

Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Democratic Congressional Committee Chair

Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, Assistant Majority Whip

These five are much younger than the three top leaders, and all of them have come to Congress since 2011 or 2013.

This group includes two African American males, a gay male, and two women, and come from the Atlantic Coast area, the Midwest and the South. The two African Americans (Jeffries and Richmond) are in their late 40s, while the other three are in their late 50s.

There could be others rising that could challenge these five, but they would seem to have an upper hand right now, to succeed to higher positions in the House leadership!

Nancy Pelosi, The Most Powerful Woman In American History, And Dealing With The Worst Tyrant In American History!

Face it, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is the most powerful woman in American history, and dealing with the worst tyrant in American history, Donald Trump.

Pelosi is two heartbeats away from the Presidency, the highest position any woman has ever attained, as being Secretary of State (making Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton four heartbeats away from the Presidency in the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama respectively), was the next highest position which has ever been attained by a woman.

Pelosi is already the third longest serving woman in the history of the House of Representatives, with 32.5 years of service since 1987.

She is a very strong leader, the most significant Speaker since Thomas “Tip” O’Neill was Speaker from 1977-1987, and is likely to be put in his league of significance, along with Speaker Sam Rayburn, who served 16 out of 20 years from 1941-1961.

She managed to overcome her rivals in the Democratic Party, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Majority Whip James Clyburn, and to control the new young membership of women who have come to the House in 2019.

She was able to hold her own with Republican Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan, and Donald Trump is truly terrified by her, and until just now, avoided calling her names, although now calling her “Crazy Nancy”, as she has made clear that “intervention” is needed, as Trump has displayed not just narcissistic behavior, but also signs of serious mental illness that threatens the nation’s national security.

If Trump thinks he can overcome this woman, he will clearly have a recognition over the next year and a half that Pelosi will triumph over him, and will bring him to the taking of responsibility and accountability for his illegal, unconstitutional behavior.

Anyone who underestimates Nancy Pelosi will learn the hard lesson, as many have, that she is a survivor who will not take abuse and turn her cheek, but will in her own unique manner, come out on top, as a savior of our American constitutional system.

Experience, Not Age, Should Rule In Government, After Donald Trump

As a result of the disaster that is Donald Trump, it is urgent that Americans elect the next President based on solid experience in government.

We do not need or want anyone who has spent his life in business alone.

We also should not elect anyone who has not had substantial experience in government, although one is not putting a specific number of years of experience as the requirement.

One thing is clear:  Age cannot be a factor, as is now being proved by the masterful leadership of future and past Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.  She has demonstrated that she is the right person for the times, but has also agreed that she will leave no later than four years, and give the younger generation an opportunity to gain experience in lower level leadership, so as to take over when she and the other veteran Democratic leaders, Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn, leave no later than 2022.

What is needed is proof of skill in government policy making, and if it is determined that Joe Biden, or Bernie Sanders, or Michael Bloomberg, or John Kerry, or even Jerry Brown is the “right” person, then we simply have to insure that his running mate for Vice President is someone, male or female, who is fully equipped to take over if anything happens to the President who might have reached his 80s in age.

It might also be wise for any of these soon to be octogenarians to make a pledge not to seek a second term, and by choosing a Vice Presidential nominee, be grooming such person for the succession if needed during the term, or for after that term, although, obviously, others could challenge the Vice President for election in the next term.

If, on the other hand, we move toward much younger leadership, let us be certain that such younger nominees have enough experience, vision, and goals to make such person an appropriate President of the United States.

Keep Top Leadership Of House Democrats Now, But They Need To Step Aside After Presidential Election Of 2020 For Newer Generation

There is a rebellion in the House Democratic majority by newly elected Progressives who want a different House Speaker, House Majority Leader, and House Majority Whip.

This is tempting, but unwise, as it was Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn who brought about the victory of Democrats in the Midterm Elections of 2018, and everyone knows that Nancy Pelosi, despite her faults and shortcomings, was a master at raising money and promoting Democrats across the nation.

We also know that Nancy Pelosi was the best Speaker since Thomas “Tip” O’Neill from 1977-1987, and accomplished the best House performance in 2009-2010 in decades,including getting the passage of ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act. Her experience and skills are priceless at this time.

On the other hand, all three Democratic leaders will have reached the age of 80 by 2020.

So the solution is let these three leaders who brought about the Democratic revival stay as leaders for the next Congress, but with a declaration that they will groom other younger, progressive types to replace them in the next Congress, the 117th, in 2021-2022, and more influence over legislation

Key committee assignments and other House leadership positions below the top three leaders need to be given to people who have shown their ability to lead, such as Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell and Karen Bass of California, Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts, Tim Ryan and Marcia Fudge of Ohio, and others as well.

It is time for the House leadership to agree to their own term limits, but usher in the future with their smart, experienced leadership for now, and groom others for such leadership in two years.

The key thing, above all, is to insure that the House Democrats show accomplishments in the next two years, and are, therefore, able to keep control in 2020, and hopefully, with a winning Democratic Presidential nominee in the 2020 Presidential election, expand their numbers,and elect a new House Speaker, Majority Leader and Majority Whip two years from now, and applaud the efforts of the veterans who made them successful in 2018 and again in 2020.

Senators Who Reached Age 90 In Office, Other Possible Additions To The List in Future Years To 2026, And Democratic House Leadership Reaching 80 By 2020

Strom Thurmond, Democrat and then Republican, South Carolina 100

Theodore F. Green, Democrat, Rhode Island 93

Robert Byrd, Democrat, West Virginia 92

Carl Hayden, Democrat, Arizona 91

Additionally, the potential future shows the following:

Dianne Feinstein, Democrat, California, would reach age 90 in next term ending 2024 with her reaching that age in 2023, with her victory in November for another six year term assured.

Chuck Grassley, Republican, Iowa, would reach age 90 in 2023 if he won another term in 2022.

Richard Shelby, Democrat and then Republican, Alabama, would reach age 90 in 2024, if he won another term in 2022.

James Inhofe, Republican, Oklahoma, would reach age 90 in 2024, if he won another term in 2020.

Pat Roberts, Republican, Kansas, would reach age 90 in 2026, if he won another term in 2020.

The question is whether it is good for the nation to have five Octogenarians in the US Senate in 2019, and this after John McCain died and Orrin Hatch is retiring.

It is, however, a growing trend, and the present Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives (Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and James Clyburn), all will reach 80 soon, with Pelosi reaching 80 in March 2020, Hoyer reaching 80 in June 2019, and Clyburn reaching 80 in July 2020, so all age 80 during the 116th Congress.

The debate will grow over the aging of Congress, and particularly of leadership and influence over the future of American democracy.