Capitol Hill has been thrown into chaos. No one knows when it will be back to normal.
Because a U.S. Senator was rushed to the hospital with a terrifying diagnosis.
Republican Chuck Grassley, the oldest member of the U.S. Senate, has been admitted to the hospital and is being treated for an infection.
The 90-year-old senator is undergoing antibiotic infusions at a hospital in his native state of Iowa, according to his office.
He will miss Tuesday’s vote on a short-term financing plan aimed at avoiding a government shutdown.
Before missing a vote in 2020 due to Covid-19 testing, Mr. Grassley had a 27-year perfect attendance record.
“Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is receiving antibiotic infusions at an area hospital to treat an infection,” his office announced in a statement late Tuesday.
“He is in good spirits and will return to work as soon as possible following doctors’ orders.”
The brief statement did not go into any greater detail.
He was initially elected to the Senate in 1980 and has been reelected seven times.
Prior to his 2020 absence, Mr. Grassley had not missed a vote since 1993, when his state was devastated by flooding.
Mr. Grassley is one of several elderly legislators who have experienced health issues and hospital stays in recent months.
Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, was brought to the hospital this spring following a fall.
However, his absence comes at a critical time for his party, which is now negotiating a spending deal with Democrats to avoid a federal government shutdown.
A little over one-third of the U.S. Senate is aged 70 or older.
Mr. Grassley became the Senate’s oldest member after California Senator Dianne Feinstein died in September.
Such health scares and deaths have raised many questions from Americans about age limits, competency tests, and term limits.
Just last year, a Pew Research Center survey found that 79% of Americans support age limits for elected officials, with Republicans agreeing slightly more at 82% compared to the Democrats’ 76%.
When questioned on whether the limits should extend to Supreme Court Justices, the numbers shifted massively: 68% of Republicans supported the idea and 82% of Democrats supported the idea.
This just goes to show that politics plays a major role in who gets the limit and it may not be based on underlying principles about age limits.
Stay tuned to the DC Daily Journal.