Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), whose legacy will include championship The #MeToo movement, does not seek re-election and uses the window before resigning to take some parting shots, including calling for a mandatory retirement for lawmakers over the age of 75.
During an interview with San Francisco Chronicle’s “It’s All Politics” podcast, Speier was asked what she would like to see change in Washington, DC.
“Maybe put a ban on how long you can serve,” Speier said, who is 71. “Not a time limit. An age limit ban.”
That Chronicle reported:
If members of Congress were to “return home” – Washington-speaking not to seek another term – as a 75-year-old, it would mean a goldmine for several members of the Northern California delegation, including reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, 78; Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, 78; John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, 78; and Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, 77. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, would be on deck when she turns 74 next month.
Late. Dianne Feinstein, 88, would not have served her last two six-year terms under this idea. Thirteen members of the Senate – where the average age was 63 at the beginning of this term – are older than 75.
And yes, Speier’s cut would include her friend, speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is 81 – and may have done her best work this year shepherding President Biden’s two infrastructure bills through a troubled democratic caucus.
Speier said she does not know Pelosi’s plans for sure.
“Well, she said this would be her last period as a speaker,” Speier said on the podcast. “I think she committed that this would be her last. I do not know what her plans are. I do not know if members of the caucus want to convince her to run again as a speaker.”
Speier had an idea for Pelos’ agenda after retirement.
“I have the fantasy that whenever she decides to travel – whenever it is – she will be appointed ambassador to Italy,” Speier said.
“I would not be surprised if that is where she ends up,” Speier said.
Speier’s political career began, was elected to Congress in 2008 after surviving an attack by sect members who killed her boss at the time, rep. Leo Jay Ryan (D-CA).
Speier revoked how she was inspired to have a career in public service after she accompanied her boss Ryan on a flight to Guyana in 1978 to rescue 900 followers of cult leader Jim Jones.
Ryan and four others were shot dead on a runway by gunmen who were supporters of Jones. Speier, who was 29, was shot five times. Jones convinced supporters to drink cyanide-laced punch in a mass-suicide.
“It’s time for me to come home,” Speier said of her withdrawal. “Time for me to be more than a weekend wife, mom and friend.”
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