Published July 14, 2023

Proposal to Limit Age for Congress

Written by
The Dakotan
| The Dakotan

Retire Congress North Dakota Proposes Constitutional Amendment That Sets Age 80 As Limit To Serve In Congress From North Dakota

BISMARCK -- Retire Congress North Dakota announces that it is spearheading a statewide push for an amendment to the North Dakota state Constitution that would prohibit anyone from North Dakota aged 80 or older from serving in Congress.

The proposed amendment, if passed, would not impact any current North Dakota congressional office holders eligible for reelection in 2024. Retire Congress North Dakota is launching this ballot initiative as the public questions the ability of many leaders in Washington aged 80 and older, including California’s Dianne Feinstein and even President Joe Biden. Without congressional term limits in our federal constitution preventing members from serving indefinitely, many in Congress hold their positions for life.

“Serving in Congress has become a lifelong occupation for many members,” said Jared Hendrix, Chair of Retire Congress North Dakota. “The median age in Congress is far above the median age in America.” Retire Congress North Dakota recognizes basic truths. With age comes health and cognitive decline, which invariably lead to absences and policy concerns. Some have served even though their cognizance has been called into question.

“While these are sensitive topics, we’d be doing a disservice to our Republic by not discussing them. Serving in Congress is both a mentally and physically strenuous role,” continued Hendrix. “This also draws to question if these members, often capping multi-decade careers as politicians, are truly in touch with the issues of the day, or representing the best interests of their constituencies.” Since Congress will not address this issue, Retire Congress North Dakota believes the states should take the lead in setting age limits.

“We will limit the age at 80,” concluded Hendrix. “Even limiting the age at 80 is far above the retirement age in the military and many private corporations. The average age of retirement in America is 64. Everybody else retires, I don’t see why politicians should be different. You can’t run for Senate until you’re 30, or Congress until you’re 25. So we already have age limits on the lower end, just not the upper end.”

“Since Congress has failed to bring the American people term limits, and since they will not act on this issue either, North Dakota will take the lead in setting age limits for serving in Congress.”

The petition being filed sets a maximum of 80 years and states no person may be elected or appointed to serve a term or a portion of a term in the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House of Representatives if that person could attain 81 years of age by December 31st of the year immediately preceding the end of the term.  Once the wording is approved, North Dakota for Term Limits will canvas to obtain the required signatures to get it on the ballot for June of 2024.

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