Power Players

Capitol Hill’s 40 under 40: Will youth invasion change Washington?

Power Players

Top Line

Can youth and relative inexperience be virtues? Illinois Republican Aaron Schock and Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard are making the case that they can be – at least when it comes to getting things done on Capitol Hill.

The two members of Congress, both in their thirties, are recruiting Congress’ 40 members under the age of 40 to join their newly launched “Congressional Future Caucus.”

“It’s bringing together the freshest faces in Washington, DC and the Congress,” Schock told “Top Line” of the new caucus in a joint interview with Gabbard on the steps of the Capitol.

“When most of America looks at Washington, DC, they look at a much older, much grayer Congress, and we’re excited that there are now 40 members under the age of 40 and we can hopefully get some things done,” Schock said.

Gabbard says she’s observed that that younger, newer members of Congress tend to have a different mindset than some of their older colleagues who’ve been in Congress for a longer period of time.

“What we’re seeing generationally, that is now being reflected in Congress, because we have more members who are younger, is an impatience, an unwillingness to just wait around and expect things will change,” she said.

And with this new caucus, Gabbard hopes, those members will have a forum to break through the gridlock that’s been characteristic of Washington in recent years.

“Unfortunately, what happens too often is you start at opposite ends of the spectrum and then you start lobbing bombs at each other, expecting that’s going to end up with something constructive, and that’s where we need to change,” Gabbard said.

Though the new caucus is geared toward younger members of Congress, Schock qualifies that there isn’t an age limit for membership.

“It’s less about age and more about their mentality,” Schock said. “We’re talking about, hey, what do we need to do strategically about education, about infrastructure, with energy, for the next 10, 20, 30 years. And in my view if you’re a 78 or an 88 year old and you think about the next 30 years, we want you as part of this discussion.”

To hear more about the “Congressional Future Caucus,” and how Schock and Gabbard envision the caucus will bring compromise to Washington, check out this episode of “Top Line.”

ABC’s Freda Kahen-Kashi, Alexandra Dukakis, Kyle Blaine, Chris Carlson, and Derek Johnston contributed to this episode.

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