Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Will Congress Pass An Amendment to Limit Congressional Terms?

My VIPs for this week are the lawmakers who are advocating for a constitutional amendment for term limits on members of Congress. According to Alex Nitzberg atThe Blaze, such an amendment supposedly has backing from members in both chambers. If such an amendment were to be ratified, it would limit members of the House of Representatives to three terms of two years each (for a total of six years) and senators to two terms of six years (for a total of twelve years). 

Such congressional limits would be in line with the Founders idea that members of Congress would serve for a few years and then return to normal lives. I believe that they would have put term limits into the Constitution if they had even imagined that members of Congress would serve for thirty, forty, or even fifty years.

The amendment would state that a member of the House elected to fill a vacant spot fills the vacancy for more than one year, that term of office would count toward their three-term limit. Similarly, a senator elected to fill a vacancy for more than three years would count that time as one of his two allowed terms. There are dozens of House Republicans who back the proposal along with “A number of GOP senators” and one Democratic Rep. Jared Golden of Maine.

An amendment is not easy to make into law. Two-thirds of Congress must pass the proposal, and three-fourths of the states must ratify the amendment for it to be added to the Constitution. The following quote is from the article by Nitzberg:

“Term limits are critical to fixing what’s wrong with Washington, D.C.,” GOP Sen. Ted Cruz said, according to a press release. “The Founding Fathers envisioned a government of citizen legislators who would serve for a few years and return home, not a government run by a small group of special interests and lifelong, permanently entrenched politicians who prey upon the brokenness of Washington to govern in a manner that is totally unaccountable to the American people. [Term limits bring] about accountability that is long overdue and I urge my colleagues to advance this amendment along to the states so that it may be quickly ratified and become a constitutional amendment.”

“With the evident abuse of power that has taken place in Congress the notion of term limits is basic common sense,” Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina said, according to a press release. “Many of my colleagues have drifted so far from the reality of the people they serve by turning ‘representative of the people’ into a lifelong career. Members must be willing to not only enact laws, but return to their respective districts to live under them.”

I wonder at the timing of the proposal for such an amendment. I believe that there is a movement in the nation to obtain enough support to hold a Constitutional Convention that would make a similar proposal. At least one other amendment was drafted and passed because the people threatened to do it.

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