Offering a solution to the “brokenness” in Washington, Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate have reintroduced resolutions that would impose term limits on members of Congress.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., propose limiting senators to two six-year terms and House members to three two-year terms.
“For too long, members of Congress have abused their power and ignored the will of the American people,” Cruz said as he introduced the resolution to amend the Constitution, reported WKRC-TV in Cincinnati.
“Term limits on members of Congress offer a solution to the brokenness we see in Washington, D.C.,” the senator said. “It is long past time for Congress to hold itself accountable. I urge my colleagues to submit this constitutional amendment to the states for speedy ratification.”
A similar resolution reintroduced by Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-Ind., would restrict House members to four terms and senators to two, the Hill reported.
Any proposed amendment to the Constitution must be approved by two-thirds of the members of both chambers and ratified by at least 38 states to become law.
Hollingsworth said in a statement to the Hill that term limits would help curb abuse of power in Washington.
“In the chaos and dysfunction in Washington, the interests and livelihoods of Hoosiers – and all Americans – are coming second to the self-interests, social media followings and financial futures of far too many Members of Congress,” he said.
The congressman asserted the “hardworking men and women who sent us here to represent them in Washington deserve a government that puts them, their families, their businesses and their futures first.”
In April, President Trump endorsed an effort by freshman lawmakers to press for term limits to help fulfill his vow to “drain the Swamp” in Washington.
I recently had a terrific meeting with a bipartisan group of freshman lawmakers who feel very strongly in favor of Congressional term limits. I gave them my full support and endorsement for their efforts. #DrainTheSwamp
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2018
Critics of term limits contend they would give more power to lobbyists and the executive branch.
Washington Post columnist Amber Phillips pointed out that lobbyists and other members of the Washington establishment “can spend years gaining expertise on the intricacies of legislating that term-limited members of Congress simply wouldn’t or could never have.”
She quoted Molly Reynolds, a congressional expert with the Brookings Institution, saying that if members are restricted to only serving a few terms, “the logic goes, they have neither the time nor the incentive to develop the relevant expertise they need to be good at their jobs.”
“If members don’t have that expertise themselves, they’re more likely to rely on outsiders, including lobbyists, to replace that expertise.”
Proponents of term limits argue one of Washington’s biggest problems is career politicians who become increasingly detached from the interests of the people the represent.