Obama Administration Goes for More Experience; House of Representatives for Less

Thursday, July 25, 2013
Youngest House member, 30-year-old Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pennsylvania) (AP photo)

There are more than just political philosophies dividing the Democratic Obama administration from the GOP-run U.S. House of Representatives.

 

Experience also separates these two centers of power in the nation’s capital.

 

The average age of those serving under President Barack Obama is now 52, up from 50 four years ago, according to demographic data from National Journal.

 

About one quarter of the top 250 administration officials are 60 or older. In 2009, only 18% were 60 or older.

 

Over on Capitol Hill, the experience level among House members has gone down. Currently, 46% of representatives are “junior members” (defined as those who have completed fewer than three terms in office).

 

“That percentage has been higher only three times since Dwight D. Eisenhower became president. The record was 56% in 1997, because of the two big GOP classes that made and then retained Newt Gingrich as speaker. But the number of junior members dropped significantly after the next election and has been below 40% ever since,” David Hawkings wrote for Roll Call.

 

Despite Republican control of the House of Representatives, its youngest member is a Democrat…30-year-old Patrick Murphy of Massachusetts.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

Obama's Top Officials Are Getting Grayer (by Brian Resnick and Brian McGill, National Journal)

Newbies Take Over Congress; Now What Will They Make of It? (by David Hawkings, Roll Call)

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