Senate Turnover

Massive Turnover In The US Senate In Past Three Two Year Cycles!

The US Senate is a fascinating institution with a long, distinguished history of exciting personalities and significant historical actions.

But the US Senate is now in the midst of so much turmoil and upheaval that its image and reputation are in great danger of being irreparably harmed for the long run!

46 percent of the Senate membership will have changed since the inauguration of Barack Obama as President in 2009, including the announced retirements over the next two years, and the likelihood of possible defeats of sitting members in primaries or reelection contests in 2014 making an even higher percentage than 46 percent by the beginning of the 114th Senate in 2015!

Retirement has been the most utilized method of leaving the Senate, including such luminaries as the following:

Evan Bayh, Chris Dodd, George Voinovich, Judd Gregg in 2010

Kent Conrad, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Herb Kohl, Joe Lieberman, Olympia Snowe, Ben Nelson, Jon Kyl in 2012

Tom Harkin, Frank Lautenberg, Jay Rockefeller, Saxby Chambliss, Carl Levin in 2014

Defeat has been another way to remove members of the Senate, including:

Russ Feingold, Blanche Lincoln, Arlen Specter, Bob Bennett in 2010

Scott Brown, Richard Lugar in 2012

Death has also taken away the following:

Robert Byrd, Edward Kennedy by 2010

Daniel Inouye by 2012

Moving to other positions in government or political groups include:

Sam Brownback, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Ken Salazar by 2009 or 2010

Jim DeMint by 2012

John Kerry by 2013

Altogether, the totals are as follows from 2009-2014

Retiring: 25
Defeated: 6
Dying: 3
Resigning: 12

46 and counting, when one adds the likelihood of the defeat of some sitting Senators in primaries or elections in 2014, making HALF the Senate likely having changed since the 111th Senate met in January 2009!

And the statesmanship and experience that will be lost will be replaced by many Senators unwilling to negotiate or compromise, a hallmark of the historic Senate, which played such a major role in American history!

The US Senate Changes At Accelerated Pace, But With Little Hope Of BiPartisanship!

The US Senate, often called the greatest deliberative body in the world, is rapidly changing, as we will see at least 15 new members being sworn in on January 3 or shortly thereafter,

This is due to the retirement of eleven Senators; the primary defeat of one; the upcoming resignation of two; and the death of one.

Eleven of these 15 Senators will be Democrats, including Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Angus King of Maine, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and the appointed replacements for John Kerry in Massachusetts who is resigning to become Secretary of State, and for Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, who died in office a week ago.

Four new Senators will be Republicans, including Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Tim Scott of South Carolina, by appointment after the resignation of Jim DeMint to become the head of the Heritage Foundation.

At the same time, the longest serving Senators head the committees, and their average age is higher than it has ever been, and we now know, at the least, that the oldest Senator now, Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, who will be 90 when he comes up for reelection in 2014, is not yet ready to say he will retire, even in the face of a potential challenge in the Democratic primary from Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

So the Senate, seen as a barrier to progress by many, is becoming more divided, by age, ideology, and party, making the likelihood of “crossing the aisle” far less likely in the near future! Bipartisanship is NOT thriving!