Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Authored By C. Douglas Golden | January 5, 2019 at 2:13pm

A new bill from two top Republicans would limit most people to 18 years in Congress via a constitutional amendment — something that’s bound to have career bureaucrats infuriated.

The amendment, according to CNN, is being introduced in the House and Senate by Rep. Francis Rooney of Florida and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, respectively.

“For too long, members of Congress have abused their power and ignored the will of the American people,” Cruz said.

Term limits on members of Congress offer a solution to the brokenness we see in Washington, D.C. 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.”

Cruz had introduced a similar bill in 2017, but failed to gain traction.

The plan would limit House members to three terms of two years each and senators to two terms of six years each. This means that most people would be limited to 18 years in office, and only if they are elected to one office and then the other.

The language makes it technically possible to serve up to slightly less than 22 years if they’re appointed or elected to fill less than a half-term.

This, according to Rooney, is closer to what the nation’s founders envisioned.

“The founders never envisioned a professional political class,” Rooney said during an interview on Fox News Saturday.

“This is a much better way than having these entrenched politicians who are too aligned with special interests over a period of years. I would say 18 years is plenty of time to serve your country in.”

Neither Cruz nor Rooney would really be benefiting from the arrangement, should any politician be seen as having benefited personally from term limits. Rooney, 65, was first elected in 2016 and would be eligible to serve in the House until 2022. Cruz, who just won his second term, would be out of Congress in 2024.

It’s worth noting, however, that Rooney could possibly take over for Sen. Marco Rubio, who would be term-limited out if he won the Republican nomination. (Lest you think Rubio would be upset about it, consider that he’s a co-sponsor of the bill — along with Mike Lee of Utah and David Perdue of Georgia.)

And Cruz, who came to the Senate from a position as Texas’ solicitor general, could also technically run for the House if he so chose.

Incidentally, if you think that the bill can’t win bipartisan support, consider there was another major Democratic voice calling for term limits this election cycle: Beto O’Rourke, Cruz’s opponent.

“People in Texas and across the country recognize that members of Congress often focus on re-election at the expense of addressing the challenges our country faces,” O’Rourke said in a piece posted to Medium.

“We see that the longer you serve in Congress, the less connected, the less responsive, the less accountable you can become to the people you represent. And we recognize that imposing term limits on members of Congress — along with getting PAC money out of our politics and putting an end to gerrymandering — will help breathe new life and new ideas into our democracy.”

If even Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke can come together on something, maybe Congress can, too.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between America and Southeast Asia and believes in free speech and the Second Amendment.

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