Last week Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Representative Ron DeSantis (R-FL) filed for a constitutional amendment that would impose term limits on both the House and the Senate. According to the official document, the law would limit U.S. senators to two six-year terms and members of the House of Representatives to three two-year terms. The amendment was cosponsored by Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE), Ron Johnson (R. WI), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), and David Perdue (R-GA).
The idea of term limits floated around during the 2016 election season, and it wound up in Trump’s “100 Day Plan” following his nomination.
Fox News reported –
Propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress – The president can only propose an amendment, it takes the Senate to get action. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is against term limits, so a proposed amendment could have a tough time getting on the Senate agenda.
Additionally, there has been development of grassroots movements such as the Convention of States Project (a project that took off in 2013/14 that is currently advocating for the implementation of terms limits by use of Article V of the United States Constitution). On the shoulders of endorsements from Senator Marco Rubio, Sean Hannity, Governor Greg Abbott, and other elected officials. Jeb Bush recently called for a convention in order to “send the power back to the people and back to the states.”
And finally, according to a survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports in October of 2016, 74% of likely U.S. voters favor term limits on all member of Congress. A small 13% are opposed and another 13% undecided.
One can safely say that the demand for term limits, both inside and outside of Washington, has been building momentum.
And there are many benefits that term limits can provide: removing the immense power retained by incumbent politicians, tackling the low turnover rates, and minimizing the impact of special interest groups. But most importantly, as Dan Greenberg of the Heritage Foundation states, it would “restore respect for Congress.”
In short, the best way to reinvigorate government is to bring in legislators with fresh outlooks, new ideas, and better incentives. Term limits are the only realistic way to change the culture of legislative careerism in Congress — a culture that undermines the public interest.
But the path for passing such an amendment is unknown, regardless of the fact that Republicans have the majority in both the House, Senate, and the oval office. I’ve heard the argument before of “why would they want to pass a law that would impose an end date to his/her power-filled position?” And that’s precisely the problem that individuals like Sen. Cruz and Rep. DeSantis, among many others, have come to notice. Because it should not be about the power; it should be about serving the people.
Senator Ted Cruz released a statement on Facebook in regards to the current proposal and expressed that it is “time to put an end to the cronyism and deceit that has transformed Washington into a graveyard of good intentions.”
“The time is now for Congress, with the overwhelming support of the American people, to submit this constitutional amendment to the states for speedy ratification. With control of a decisive majority of the states…we have a responsibility to answer the voters’ call-to-action.”