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house Bill H. Joint Res. 14

Term Limits: Should There be a Limit on How Long Lawmakers Can be in Congress?

Argument in favor

No one likes a career politician.

ScottWalker's Opinion
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09/01/2015
“I think in any job — not just in government — about a decade’s about as much as you can do in [the] exact same position before you start to become complacent.” Read more at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/21/scott-walker-favors-term-limits-congress/
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Chris's Opinion
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07/10/2015
To those idiots who say to vote out a politician if we do not like them. Well the president should have the same set of rules. You can't have a double standard. If the president has to have term limits so should everyone else there in Washington.
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Frost's Opinion
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08/03/2015
It was never designed to be a career. It is supposed to be public service.
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Argument opposed

Don't like your lawmakers? Vote for someone else!

Bryan's Opinion
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07/27/2015
I dread the state of the country without Bernie Sanders.
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Jewel's Opinion
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06/25/2015
There are better ways to ensure better governance, such as Getting Money Out Of Politics and putting a stop to the revolving door policy that allowed the egregious Medicare Prescription Bill, which prohibited Medicare from negotiating pricing in return for a $2 million dollar a year lobbying job for Billy Tauzin.
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MateoLowe's Opinion
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07/31/2015
I don't think a term limit should exist. Voters should be able to vote for who they want and if they elect their representative year after year then they should remain in office because its what the people want
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joint resolution Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 9th, 2015

What is House Bill H. Joint Res. 14?

This joint resolution would amend the United States Constitution to limit member of Congress to serving no more than three terms in the House, and no more than two terms in the Senate.

This means that no lawmaker could sit in Congress longer than six years as a Representative or 12 years as a Senator — 18 years tops. While lawmakers could serve an additional consecutive term in either the House or Senate to fill a vacated seat, it would count as a full-term against their limit if they serve more than one year of a House term or three years of a Senate term.

Because this is a joint resolution to amend the Constitution, it would not require approval from the President. Because states can't impose Congressional term limits on their officials, only a resolution amending the Constitution can impose them. 

Currently, members of Congress do not have term limits. As long as they are re-elected to their positions — every two years in the House and every six years in the Senate — they may continue to serve in Congress for as long as they are re-elected.

Impact

Taxpayers, potential candidates for congressional elections, incumbent members of Congress, and the U.S. political sphere.

Cost of House Bill H. Joint Res. 14

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: This bill's sponsor, Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), self-imposed a three-term limit when he was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1994. He served through 2000, stepped down, and then eventually returned to Congress. Describing the rationale for imposing term limits, Rep. Salmon said:

"Now more than ever, citizens need to see accountability and responsibility from their elected representatives at all levels of government. Sadly, many today don't feel that their elected members of Congress are accountable to their voice, but rather to the voices of special interest groups."

Of Note: 

The debate over term limits is one of the oldest points of contention in U.S. political history — in fact it is a debate that pre-dates the U.S. Constitution. In the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776, members of the state assembly were limited to serving "four years in seven." 

Term limits for members of Congress most recently became a significant issue in 1994 when 22 states had term limits for their congressional delegations. The U.S. Supreme Court then struck down state-imposed term limits that are stricter than what is found in the Constitution in the case U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton. The issue resurfaced in 2012 when the Senate rejected a non-binding resolution suggesting that the Constitution should be amended to put in place term limits in a 24-75 vote.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user hms831

Official Title

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to limit the number of terms that a Member of Congress may serve.

    “I think in any job — not just in government — about a decade’s about as much as you can do in [the] exact same position before you start to become complacent.” Read more at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/21/scott-walker-favors-term-limits-congress/
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    I dread the state of the country without Bernie Sanders.
    Like (35)
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    “If we cannot control billionaires’ power to buy elections, the people elected to office will be responsive to the needs of the rich and powerful, rather than the needs of everyone else.” [sanders.senate.gov]
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    “I would love to see some constitutional process that would allow us to actually regulate campaign spending the way we used to, and maybe even improve it.” [onpolitics.usatoday.com]
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    There are better ways to ensure better governance, such as Getting Money Out Of Politics and putting a stop to the revolving door policy that allowed the egregious Medicare Prescription Bill, which prohibited Medicare from negotiating pricing in return for a $2 million dollar a year lobbying job for Billy Tauzin.
    Like (11)
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    To those idiots who say to vote out a politician if we do not like them. Well the president should have the same set of rules. You can't have a double standard. If the president has to have term limits so should everyone else there in Washington.
    Like (10)
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    "We should start by embracing citizen-funded elections, to reduce the outsized influence of special interests and the very wealthy in our politics. Small donors should have their contributions matched by six-to-one or more, and be rewarded through a refundable tax credit that encourages mor epeople to give and participate." [martinomalley.com]
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    We dislike the stranglehold on our interest while you spent time raising election money. Term after term after term. Enough already!
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    It was never designed to be a career. It is supposed to be public service.
    Like (7)
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    I don't think a term limit should exist. Voters should be able to vote for who they want and if they elect their representative year after year then they should remain in office because its what the people want
    Like (7)
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    This would help to narrow the gap between legislators and voters.
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    The lack of term limits has created more and more career politicians. These men and women sink their feet into the grounds of capital hill and eventually begin to support policy that benefits them, not the American people. We should limit terms to keep fresh thoughts in Washington and defeat the establishment!
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    ABSOLUTELY!! Total of 8 yrs including The House & The Senate!
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    “We need term limits for all elected officials in this country . . .” Read more at http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/21/jeb-bush-calls-for-term-limits-and-lobbying-restrictions/
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    A lot of people are disparaging the concept of career politicians and calling for term limits. At least one Countable member (sorry I don't recall who) pointed out that our legislators already have "term limits;" they're called elections! If you are unhappy with the job your Congressman or Congresswoman is doing, what are you doing about it? Are you voting? Are you making phone calls and/or writing letters? Are you donating time and/or money to help elect someone else? Have you thought about running for office yourself?! There are plenty of reasons why so many politicians keep their jobs for decades. A big reason is voter apathy! We MAKE time for those things that matter most to us. If other things don't get done, we make excuses. I know there are only 24 hrs. in a day, and we gotta sleep sometime! Also, all work and no play isn't good for us. But for those hours we can call spare time, we need to carefully (and prayerfully) consider our priorities. Running the affairs of a NATION takes a LOT of work by a LOT of people! Especially if you want as many people as possible to prosper and thrive, while at the same time attempting to keep the barbarian hordes from invading! One thing you might want to keep in mind: while there are some wise young people, wisdom generally comes with age and experience. Unfortunately, I think many of us don't put in enough time vetting the people who run for (apply for) the job of juggling all the balls that we are asking them to juggle. We want the luxury of being able to put our feet up and relax with our family after a hard day's work, while OTHER FOLKS do the dirty work and heavy lifting (metaphorically speaking). I can't say I blame you; I feel that way myself all too often. But if we don't become more INVOLVED, do we really have grounds for complaining, if the jobs don't get done to our satisfaction?! Make it a higher priority to help unseat the politicians who don't keep their word! Remember that old saying, "When the cat's away, the mice will play!" WE MUST ACCEPT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF HOLDING THEM FULLY ACCOUNTABLE AND FIRE THOSE WHO FORGET WHO THEY WORK FOR! I'm not going to make excuses for the bloated, corrupt, and inefficient government we have now. Reagan warned us to not turn our back on God. Ben Carson said, "Obama said we're not a Judeo-Christian nation. But guess what! He doesn't get to decide that; we get to decide that." My point is, a moral, Godfearing people will most likely elect a moral, Godfearing government. But we've allowed the atheists and humanists and others in our society to bully us and cause us to become passive and even defensive about our faith! They have been making a religion out of "progressive-ism," and are trying to make the State the object of our "worship," dependence and obedience. That way leads to ruin and destruction.
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    I think this is a misleading concept. One might think "yeah! why should they get to be career politicians!" But also, there are congresspeople who serve multiple terms because they're champions of the rights of their constituents. If the voters dislike their congressperson, they won't reelect them multiple times.
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    There should absolutely be term limits for members of congress, like the presidency, and many state legislatures. Our government was never intended to be career politician carpet baggers. They have become entrenched crony elitists that care more about their donors and accumulated power than they do for this country or We the People. And while your at it add term limits to the Supreme Court and federal judges!
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    Term limits make sense for executive offices such as the president because of the significant influence of the individual. Congress members, however, work as a part of a unit, and individually possess much less sway as part of a legislative office.
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    We need better educated voters.
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    New blood is sometimes needed to solve seemingly intractable problems.
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