Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) has called for cognitive tests for older leaders in all three branches of the American government.
Cassidy, also a physician, expressed his support for the testing during an “Axios on HBO” interview that aired Sunday on the network.
“I’m told that there have been senators in the past who, at the end of their Senate terms were senile,” Cassidy said. “I’m told that was true of senators of both parties.”
“We each have a sacred responsibility to the people of the United States. It is not about me. It is about my ability to serve the people,” the senator later added.
The report comes as an increasing number of America’s top political leaders and Supreme Court justices serve at older ages. For example, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, the oldest justice on the court, recently celebrated his 83rd birthday.
A June report by The Washington Post noted the current Senate is the oldest in American history. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is the oldest at 88 years of age. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is 87.
Three other current senators are more than 80 years. Twenty-three additional senators are in their 70s.
In the House, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) continues to serve at 88 years of age. He is followed by Rep. Eddie Johnson (D-Texas) at 85.
The executive branch has also reached new records regarding age. President Joe Biden was the oldest incumbent president ever elected to office at 77. He took office after his birthday at 78 years old. If he served two full terms, he would remain in office until the age of 86.
In June, former White House physician Ronny Jackson joined a letter with 13 GOP congress members to challenge Biden to take a test to prove his cognitive state following concerns regarding his cognitive state.
“The American people deserve to have absolute confidence in their President,” the letter (pdf) said.
“They deserve to know that he or she can perform the duties of Head of State and Commander in Chief. They deserve full transparency on the mental capabilities of their highest elected leader. To achieve this, we urge you to submit to a cognitive test immediately.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during Thursday’s daily news briefing the president will undergo a physical examination “soon.” Psaki did not announce a specific date.