Senate Committee on Aging

Chair: Susan Collins


Projected Grade for the 116th Congress*

* Adjustments have been applied so that committees' grades are not lowered by the constraints on hearings caused by Covid-19 []

1 Investigative Oversight Hearings

7 Policy/Legislative Hearings

21 Total Hearings

Last updated: Sept. 29, 2020, 4:41 p.m.

As a special committee, the Aging committee has no legislative authority, nor any nomination responsibilities. It can issue reports, hold hearings and investigate reports of fraud and abuse in programs for the elderly. It frequently reviews Medicare, and regularly looks into issues like age discrimination, phone scams that target the old, and nursing home practices. There is no House counterpart. It has no subcommittees.

Despite its diffuse jurisdiction and lack of legislative or nomination responsibilities, the committee has been relatively active over the years. In the 115th Congress (2017-18) under Chair Susan Collins (R, Me.) it held 23 hearings, the fewest of the period, but still more than the Agriculture committee (which held 22). That was a drop from the previous Congress under Sen. Collins, when it held 29 hearings.

In the 115th Congress under Chair Collins the committee held just four policy oversight hearings, the fewest of the period. (The committee rarely conducts legislative oversight.) For the previous four Congresses it had averaged 11` policy hearings each Congress.

However, the committee punched above its weight on investigative oversight under Chair Collins in the 114th (2015-16) and 115th Congresses with seven investigative hearings over that time. In the 115th, it held three: hearings in February 2017 and March 2018 were entitled, "Stopping Senior Scams;" and in April of 2018 it examined ÔÇťAbuse of Power: Exploitation of Older Americans by Guardians and Others They Trust."


111th Congress: Herb Kohl (D-WI)

112th Congress: Herb Kohl (D-WI)

113th Congress: Bill Nelson (D-FL)

114th Congress: Susan Collins (R-ME)

115th Congress: Susan Collins (R-ME)

116th Congress: Susan Collins (R-ME)

Current Congress

We are 100% of the way through the 116th Congress

Senate Committee on Aging

1 Investigative Oversight Hearings; 31% historical maximum
7 Policy/Legislative Hearings; 67% historical maximum
21 Total Hearings; 77% historical maximum

Committee History

Number of Hearings
Committee Hearing Performance
Investigative/Oversight Policy/Legislative Total Hearings Score Grade
111th Congress 1 12 25 79% C+
112th Congress 2 13 24 90% A-
113th Congress 1 12 34 92% A
114th Congress 4 7 29 100% A
115th Congress 3 4 23 73% C
116th Congress* 1 7 21 74% C
Historical average 2.0 9.2 26.0

* Adjustments have been applied so that committees' grades are not lowered by the constraints on hearings caused by Covid-19 []

Number of Hearings

--- Historical Average

Hearings held by the
Senate Committee on Aging

Date Hearing Title Committee Category