The Oldest U.S. Senators After Dianne Feinstein’s Death

From a story on by Sareen Habeshian headlined “Here are the oldest U.S. senators after Feinstein’s death”:

There are now three octogenarians and one nonagenarian in the U.S. Senate, where more than half of the chamber is over 60, following the death of its oldest serving member Dianne Feinstein of California at 90 this week.

The big picture: Feinstein faced scrutiny over health concerns and her ability to serve during her final years in office, as America’s aging leaders have been on display, prompting conversations around fitness for office, term limits and ageism.

Feinstein, the longest-serving woman in the U.S. Senate who had a sprawling legacy, had announced earlier this year she wouldn’t seek re-election.

By the numbers: The oldest Senators are the following:

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Ia.), 90
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 82
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), 81
Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), 80
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), 79
Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), 79
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), 78
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), 77
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), 77
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), 76
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), 76
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), 76
Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), 76
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), 76
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), 75

Zoom out: There are 68 senators age 60 and older — that’s more than half of the Senate.

The average age of senators in the 118th Congress (which includes Feinstein) is 64 years old – unchanged from the previous class, according to data from Quorum.

The 118th Congress is one of the oldest in U.S. history.

Zoom in: McConnell, one of the older Senators in office, has faced public pressure in recent months over his health status in the wake of several public freeze-ups.

He’s vowed to serve out his full term leading his caucus.

Meanwhile, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), 83, was among top House Democrats who stepped aside from leadership positions last year to make room for a younger generation.

The shift is less apparent in the Senate, particularly among Republicans.

Still, Pelosi announced this month that she will seek another term in 2024.

Of note: The presidency is not immune from questions of fitness to serve over age, as the likeliest matchup for the 2024 election pits President Biden, who’d be 81 at the start of a second term, against former President Trump, who’d be 78.

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