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Has Congress become a retirement home? That’s what some people are starting to say. It comes not from a place of malice, but a place of awareness. The average age of a senator is over 60, even though the age requirement is half of that. Representatives in the House tend slightly younger, but there are still many people serving in Congress that have been there through multiple presidential administrations, and I’m not talking since George W Bush, I’m talking since Ronald Reagan and even before. Congress keeps finding itself in gridlock over issue X, Y, or Z and we as constituents see a repeat of the same public servants arguing again and again and getting nothing done.

Is it time for some fresh faces in Congress, on both sides of the aisle? Sure. According to Bloomberg, baby boomers will outnumber millennials 50 to one come January. Is one party to blame for the trend of aging politicians? The facts say no. Both Democrats and Republicans alike are guilty of keeping men and women in Congress for longer than many of you reading this have been alive. Take a look at these fifteen congressmen and senators who have been in office for what seems like forever, and put their inauguration date into perspective. Who was serving in Congress when Lyndon B Johnson was president? Did you know a current congressman started serving the same year Elvis died? Read on for more.

John Conyers (D-MI)

John Conyers was born in 1929, making him currently 88 years old. He has been in the House of Representatives since 1965, when Lyndon B Johnson was president. Yes, you read that correctly. 

Mitch Mconnell (R-KY)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earned his current position by serving since January of 1985. To put that in perspective, that’s also the same year that Madonna launched her first concert tour. McConnell is currently 75.

Hal Rogers (R-KY)

Kentucky has some long-time public servants. Representative Hal Rogers has been in Congress even longer than McConnell. He first entered Congress in 1981, the year that Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president. Rogers is currently 79.

Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)

Where were you in 1979? Jim Sensenbrenner was being sworn into Congress. Only months later, McDonalds would introduce the Happy Meal for the first time. Sensenbrenner is 74.

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

Former Speaker of the House and current Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been in Congress since 1987. She is currently 77.

Thad Cochran (R-MS)

Senator Cochran has been in Congress since 1973, doing a stint in the House before moving to the Senate. Now 79, Cochran entered Congress the same year that the modern London Bridge was opened.

Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Currently the longest serving senator, 77-year-old Leahy has been in Congress since 1975. In case you’re wondering, that was the same year that the Vietnam War ended.

Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

Like many of his senate colleges, Senator Grassley also did a stint in the House switching sides. Now 83, Grassley entered Congress in 1975. Months after he assumed office, Jimmy Hoffa would be reported missing and usher in decades of conspiracy theories.

Ed Markey (D-MA)

Yet another repeat offender. Markey has been in Congress since 1976, when he started in the House before switching to the Senate in 2013.  Though he is now 71, he was much younger when he entered Congress, though not as young as actress Reese Witherspoon, who was born that same year.

Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

The silver-haired senator from Utah has been in office since 1977, the year that Elvis Presley died. Hatch is 82 and the current president pro tempore of the senate.

Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

The outspoken 66-year-old Democratic senator has had a lot of time to practice his opposition tactics. He has served in Congress, both the House and the Senate, since 1981, the same year MTV was launched.

Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)

Congresswoman DeLauro has been an outspoken critic of Trump recently, but she’s not new to facing off against presidents. She began serving in the House in 1991, the same year that Jeffrey Dahmer, notorious serial killer, was arrested.

Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

Representing a district just outside of DC, 78-year-old Hoyer has been commuting in for work since 1981. In that same year, famed boxer Muhammad Ali fought his last fight.

Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Senator Wyden used to sit on the House side, from 1981 to 1996, before upgrading to the Senate and six year terms. Wyden is currently 68, and he entered Congress in the same year that the last country to outlaw slavery, Mauritania, did so.  

John McCain (R-AZ)

Former presidential nominee for the Republican party, John McCain was certainly a qualified candidate. In the Senate since 1987, 80-year-old McCain’s inauguration came shortly before the introduction of the cartoon The Simpsons to the world.

RELATED: Meet The 5 Youngest People Serving In United States Congress

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member