Lifetime Membership


As chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Jamie Whitten (D–Miss.) has steered millions of taxpayer dollars to his home district. It appears to be a formula for success: Whitten (pictured) has served in the House since 1940 and won reelection in 1988 with 78 percent of the vote.

But Whitten is not the only legislator who seems to have been in office forever. Thirty House members have served 25 years or more. And seven have been in the House 35 years or more—longer than Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Stephen Douglas, and William Jennings Bryan put together.

Representative and Year Elected

Jamie Whitten (D–Miss.) 1940

Charles Bennett (D–Fla.) 1948

Sidney Yates (D–Ill.) 1950

William Natcher (D–Ky.) 1952

Jack Brooks (D–Tex.) 1952

John Dingell (D–Mich.) 1954

Dante Fascell (D–Fla.) 1954