January 27th, 2021
Ted Cruz and 5 more senators introduce constitutional amendment to have term limit for Congress
Senator Ted Cruz, on Monday, led a group of GOP senators to reintroduce a proposed amendment that would limit the number of times members of Congress can be re-elected.Cruz previously put forward the amendment in 2017 and 2019.A 2013 Gallup poll showed that 75% of American adults would vote for term limits. 82% of Republicans 79% of Independents and 69% of Democrats and over 70% for all age brackets with the highest 77% between 50-64 years old. Of all our national differences this seems to be a subject that can bridge the idealogical divide and enjoys broad bi-partisan support from the American people.Since the contentious 2020 Election support has only increased for Term limits with the online interactive Real-time poll iSideWith.com showing a staggering 86% overall support for Term limits in Congress. 90% of Republicans, 85% of Democrats, and 83% of Libertarians agree. The positive view of limiting Congress' terms appears to cut across not only political but racial, gender and income lines with consistent 80+% favorability. We're tired of Washington elites.
If approved, the amendment would prevent senators from serving more than two six-year terms, while the House members would not be allowed to serve more than three two-year terms.While term limits would generate more churn in these bodies, and would most likely lead to a younger generation of lawmakers being better represented, some institutional foundations can only be maintained by an informal old guard. Relationships forged over decades, as opposed to years, are often integral in passing more ambitious legislation. There is no substitute for trust forged through the fires of countless, hard-fought legislative sessions.That type of old-guard bipartisanship seems to have melted away in the ashes of the Obama and Trump Presidencies in which the traditional standards of professionalism and decorum have been all but destroyed. With Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) calling for the expulsion of 138 of her fellow Members of Congress and seven Senators calling for the expulsion of Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, the old days are sadly gone.
"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 press release.It's unclear how term limits would fundamentally break this cycle, as opposed to something like campaign finance reform, which Ted Cruz opposes. Lobbyists and insiders are going to be major levers of Washington power until fundamental reforms are put into place regarding how money travels to and from the Capitol.
Other senators who joined Cruz are Mike Braun, Todd Young, Pat Toomey, Rick Scott and Marco Rubio.
"Term limits also have the added benefit of being supported by supermajorities of Republicans and Democrats," said Toomey, who believes limits “would infuse Congress with real-world experience, perspectives, and sensibilities".One wonders, in an electorate whose memory seems to shorten every election span, what impact electing new faces this often would have on Congress. In an atmosphere as charged as the current one, and partisan gerrymandering elevating more and more fringe candidates, one can't help but believe these arbitrary term limits would favor telegenic, controversial candidates over the ones who may actually be serious about the work of governance.
There are no term limits for either chamber of Congress currently.It must also be mentioned that while term limits are indeed broadly popular, so are some "career politicians": There's a reason Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and their ilk continue to get re-elected besides name recognition and deep pockets. Whether you agree with them or not, they do in fact get things done in Washington, for their constituents and the country at large.
A 1995 Supreme Court Case (US Term Limits v Thornton) held that constitutional amendment is the only way to put limits on Congress.However, these amendments are rare (only 27 in American history).Congressional Term limit resolutions have been raised in Congress 18 times since 1996. The most successful attempts were by Rep. Bob Inglis in 1995-96 with 66 co-sponsors and in 2019-20 by Rep. Francis Rooney with 56 cosponsors. All of the proposed term limit amendments have died in committee. This has resulted in a growing movement to impose term limits through an Article V Constitutional Convention, the first since 1787.