The House of Representatives won’t undergo merely a partisan change when the new Congress convenes on Wednesday. It will, in many ways, undergo a generational change as well.
A new and younger set of Republicans lawmakers will move in when their party takes control of the House. Perhaps more important, the change also will empower a new and younger set of Republican leaders who will run the House—and who figure to be in positions of power within their party for years, if not decades, to come.
Overall, the influx of 87 new Republican House members who will be sworn in Wednesday will lower the average age of House Republicans to 54.9 from 56.5 in the last Congress, a new Wall Street Journal analysis of ages in the new Congress shows.
By contrast, Democrats in the House are moving in the opposite direction on the age scale. The 2010 election swept from office some of the party’s younger members from moderate swing districts, and the result is a Democratic caucus that is both more liberal and grayer. The average age of a Democratic House member will rise to 60.2 from 58.