It is no secret that the anti establishment movement has become a prominent force on both sides of the aisle. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul, and others all took advantage of this sentiment during their respective primaries. With this growing discontent, the calls for term limits for members of Congress has only increased.
The Constitution itself does not establish term limits for anybody within the federal government. It was until the 22nd Amendment passed in 1951 that the President was only term limited to two terms, for a total of eight years. Since that time, calls for term limits on members of Congress has been a recurring proposal as well. With members of Congress serving decades in the same office, many members of the public have come to believe a system should be put in place to prevent this.
Two of the longest serving members of Congress ever, left office within the past few years. John Dingell represented Michigan in the US House of Representatives for 59 years, from 1955 until 2015, while Robert Byrd was a US Senator from West Virginia between 1959 and 2010, he served in the US House of Representatives before that too, beginning in 1953, for a total of 57 years.
It has been a growing trend for members to serve longer and longer terms. With gerrymandering becoming more and more commonplace across the country, districts have oftentimes became safer and safer for polarized incumbents. This has typically resulted in less interaction with the public, which many criticize as it is typically believed that representatives should actually represent the district, not their own interests which may be created in Washington.
Congressman Raul Labrador (R-ID) recently introduced a Constitutional Amendment which would limit members of both chambers of Congress to just 12 years in either chamber. This means US Senators would be restricted to serve two terms, while members of the House could only serve 6 terms.
Labrador said of the proposal, “To restore constitutional balance, we must bring the career politicians home and replace them with patriots ready to make the hard choices necessary for prudent governance.” Although President Trump has stated he is a supporter of Congressional term limits, it is a tall task to enact the measure. It will require a vote of 3/4 of state legislatures to become law.
What do you think? Let HYPELINE News know what you think of the proposal in the comments!
(h/t Idaho Statesman)