Republican lawmakers are pressing for Constitutional amendments that would impose term limits on members of Congress arguing that the growing “political careerism” in today’s Congress is going against the intention of the Founding Fathers.
GOP senators Mike Braun and Todd Young (Indiana), Marco Rubio and Rick Scott (Florida), Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania) and Ted Cruz (Texas) filed a resolution that would detail the limit in the times that members of Congress can be reelected — this revives Senator Cruz’ earlier idea to include a constitutional amendment on term limits for lawmakers.
If approved, the proposal would prevent senators from serving more than “two six-year terms” and House members from serving more than “three two-year terms.”
“Every year, Congress spends billions of dollars on giveaways for the well-connected: Washington insiders get taxpayer money and members of Congress get re-elected, all while the system fails the American people,” Cruz said in a statement.
“It’s no wonder that the vast majority of Americans from every political stripe – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – overwhelmingly support congressional term limits,” he wrote.
Rise in “political careerism”
“The rise of political careerism in today’s Congress is a sharp departure from what the Founders intended for our federal governing bodies,” Cruz said, noting that he has long called for this amendment to fix the “brokenness of Washington, DC” and to “hold career politicians accountable.”
Members of the previous 116th Congress have, on average, 8.6 years of service for the House and 10.1 years for the Senate, based on January 2019 data from the Congressional Research Service — but many officials represent their districts and states for much longer.
The oldest sitting senator is Democrat Dianne Feinstein, 88 but the longest serving member of the Senate is Patrick Leahy (Vermont) – who has served for 46 years, followed by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (40 years), Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell (36 years).
In the House of Representatives, Rep. Young Donald of Alaska has been in serving for 47 years, along with Rep. Frank James Sensenbrenner Jr. (Wisconsin), Rep. Harold Rogers (Kentucky) and Rep. Christopher Henry Smith (New Jersey) who all have been in representing their districts for at least 40 years.
Today my colleagues and I reintroduced a constitutional amendment to impose #TermLimits on Members of Congress. The amendment would limit U.S. senators to two six-year terms and members of the U.S. House of Representatives to three two-year terms. pic.twitter.com/1izmg5EQ6B
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) January 25, 2021
“Today my colleagues and I reintroduced a constitutional amendment to impose #TermLimits on Members of Congress. The amendment would limit U.S. senators to two six-year terms and members of the U.S. House of Representatives to three two-year terms,” Cruz wrote on Twitter.
GOP pushes term limits
Senator Toomey said imposing term limits would allow Congress to be in touch with the “real-world.”
“I have long been a supporter of congressional term limits, which would infuse Congress with real-world experience, perspectives, and sensibilities,” said Senator Toomey. “Term limits also have the added benefit of being supported by supermajorities of Republicans and Democrats.”
Meanwhile, Senator Cruz has been pushing for term limits to be put in place for federal lawmakers since 2017 for both the 115th and 116th Congress.
Earlier in 2019, the Texas senator also appeared to support a suggestion from self-proclaimed Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to make it illegal for former members of Congress to become lobbyists after leaving office.
Here’s something I don’t say often: on this point, I AGREE with @AOC Indeed, I have long called for a LIFETIME BAN on former Members of Congress becoming lobbyists. The Swamp would hate it, but perhaps a chance for some bipartisan cooperation? https://t.co/jPW0xkH2Yy
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 30, 2019
“Here’s something I don’t say often: on this point, I AGREE with @AOC,” the conservative senator wrote in reply to one of AOC’s tweets in May 2019.
“Indeed, I have long called for a LIFETIME BAN on former Members of Congress becoming lobbyists. The Swamp would hate it, but perhaps a chance for some bipartisan cooperation?”
While some sectors support putting reins on term limits, others argue that it would only encourage poor performance as the incentive for lawmakers would shift to pleasing corporations so they’ll end up with “lobbying gigs” after.
Meanwhile, a Supreme Court Case in 1995, “US Term Limits v. Thornton,” held that the only way to be able to impose term limits on members of Congress is through a rare constitutional amendment.
Such a Constitutional amendment may be proposed by a two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress, or, if two-thirds of the States request one, by a convention called for that purpose. The amendment must then be ratified by three-fourths of the State legislatures, or three-fourths of conventions called in each State for ratification, according to White House documents.
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Source: The Scoop