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A look into US Politicians 🇺🇸
Who has served the longest, and what did they do beforehand?
The United States Congress is made up of the upper chamber of the Senate and the lower chamber of the House of Representatives. Many members have remained for decades, bringing valuable experience but also concerns about the ageing population of the people in charge. Today we’ll explore the longest-serving members and the most common previous occupations.
It’s been a long, long time
Of the top 15 longest serving members of Congress (combining Senate and House serving time), 12 are Democrats while only 3 are Republican - one of whom was originally Democrat. John Dingell holds the current record for longest-serving US politician, with the House Rep in office for 59 years. He died at the age of 92 in 2019, which means he spent over 64% of his life as a politician!
The only currently active politician is Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (R). With 48.7 years of service under his belt, he was also president pro tempore - or the second-highest-ranking official in the US Senate behind the vice president - during President Trump’s years in office. He, along with Patrick Leahy, are the only two on this list that are still alive with Don Young passing away in 2022.
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Looking at the majority of today’s politicians, you almost forget that they too may have held a summer job bussing tables during college once upon a time, or even spent years in a completely different industry before pivoting into politics.
We looked at the most frequent previous occupations of US Senators in 2022, and while many are pretty understandable - law, business - some might be surprising. Allllll the way at the bottom we have one senator with a background in aeronautics. This is none other than Mark Kelly, Senator for Arizona, and former NASA astronaut who piloted the Space Shuttle Endeavour’s last mission in 2011.
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