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McConnell Cleared After Second Health Scare, Renews Calls for ‘Term Limits’ for Lawmakers

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McConnell Cleared After Second Health Scare, Renews Calls for ‘Term Limits’ for Lawmakers

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WASHINGTON – There are renewed concerns for some of America’s most experienced political leaders after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) experienced another health scare. 

McConnell appeared to freeze up while speaking to reporters Wednesday in his home state of Kentucky. 

It was the second episode for the 81-year-old senator in recent weeks. The video from a local news station showed after McConnell was asked whether he would run for reelection, he trailed off and stared straight ahead for about 10 seconds. 

A spokesperson confirmed to CBN News that the senator’s doctor cleared McConnell to continue with his schedule as planned. 

In a statement, the doctor wrote, “Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration.” 

McConnell suffered a concussion and a fractured rib after a fall earlier this year in Washington. He was hospitalized for several days and underwent inpatient rehabilitation before returning to his duties in the Senate. 

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But this latest scare is raising more questions about the age of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. 

The incident comes a little more than a month after McConnell had a similar freeze-up mid-sentence while speaking to the press on Capitol Hill. 

The following day, 90-year-old California Sen. Dianne Feinstein appeared confused during a committee meeting. 

Nearly one-fourth of Capitol Hill lawmakers are over 70 years old. No constitutional boundaries exist for a maximum age to hold elected office. 

GOP presidential hopeful and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley told CBN’s Faith Nation the status of a politician’s mental fitness is pertinent to their ability to serve. 

“We seriously need to have a conversation that if you’re going to have anyone above a certain age, in a position of power, whether it’s the House, whether it’s the Senate, whether it’s president whether it’s vice president, you should have some sort of cognitive test,” Haley said. 

ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said when aging, not being able to speak or respond on command is cause for concern. 

“{These} warrant urgent neurologic evaluation,” she said. 

Hours after the incident in a series of posts on Twitter, U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) expressed his concern for McConnell and said although he supports term limits, “It would require amending our Constitution.” 

Philip Blumel, president of the non-partisan group U.S. Term Limits contends age is just a number, what’s needed is more turnover in Congress. 

“Aging really is not an issue when you have regular rotation offices or term limits, like our like our founders intended,” he said. “So, there’s nothing ageist about term limits. But it does help solve the problem of gerontocracy in Washington which is getting severe.” 

Blumel said without term limits there cannot be fair elections because incumbents always have many advantages. He confirmed 112 U.S. House members and 21 U.S. Senators have signed a pledge to support any proposed constitutional amendment to add term limits.  

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Three supporters who signed the pledge from McConnell’s state of Kentucky include Sen. Rand Paul, U.S. Reps. James Comer and Thomas Massie.  

Congressional term limits are supported by over 80% of U.S. voters Blumel argues, but politicians are unwilling to give up power. 

President Joe Biden said plans to get in touch with McConnell. 

An August 2023 AP-NORC poll released this week shows age continues to be a concern for voters. Three-quarters of the public think  Biden is too old to serve another term. Although Donald Trump is only three years younger than Biden, only about half of the adults agree that he is too old to effectively serve another term. 

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