Freshman Lawmakers Push For Congressional Term limits
Donald Trump offered his support in favor of Congressional term limits last week after meeting with first-term house members. A bipartisan group of young House Reps including: Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), met with the President in hopes to commence a bipartisan proposal to legislate term limits for the house of representatives and the senate.
According to reporting from the Hill, “...lawmakers, all 50 years old or younger, support limiting senators to two terms and representatives to six terms, for a total of 12 years each." They say the proposal will help fix a broken political system and ensure 'new blood and fresh ideas' are regularly injected into Congress. Trump confirmed on Twitter: "I recently had a terrific meeting with a bipartisan group of freshman lawmakers who feel very strongly in favor of Congressional term limits, "
But, will Congressional term limits in fact, “Drain the swamp?” Jordan Butcher and Aaron Kusner of the Washington Post believes otherwise. In their latest study, Butcher and Kusner compared the careers of legislators in the states that had term limits and the states that didn’t. Butcher and Kusner found that on average legislatures: want to stay longer, are more ambitious about running for higher office, sometimes leave the upper chamber for a seat in the lower one, move back in forth between chambers, they step down when permitted by law, and more.
Brookings Institute recently published the Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. This study found 74% of Likely U.S. voters favor establishing term limits for all members of Congress. Despite the Rasmussen Reports study, the Brookings Institute published their,“Five reasons to oppose congressional term limits:
1) limits powers from voters
2) severely decreases congressional capacity
3) limits incentives for gaining policy expertise, automatically kick out effective lawmakers, does very little to remove corruptive behavior or slow the revolving door.
The bipartisan freshman lawmakers are working to put something together to present in a couple of weeks and although U.S. voters are likely to support Congressional term limits, the bipartisan lawmakers have a battle to face on Capitol hill. Congressional term limits requires a constitutional amendment, in addition to two-thirds support from both the House and Senate followed by 3/4 of states ratification by the states.