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house Bill H. Joint Res. 49

Should Members Of Congress Have Term Limits (Unless They're In Congress Now)?

Argument in favor

Members of Congress have turned their public service into careers — their long legacies hinder Congress’ efficiency and taken power away from voters.

Darren's Opinion
···
06/11/2015
There are people who have been serving for over 30 years. Look what we have done in the last 30 years almost gone bankrupt, bounced how many checks? Stole how much money drove this country into the ground, approved the collection of data, YOUR SPYING ON YOUR OWN CONSTITUENTS! Any other job in the real world you'd be fired 29.5 years ago. Change this NOW.
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···
05/31/2015
The Office of the President has had term limits since The 22nd amendment was ratified in 1951 after FDR served four terms in office. Our nation has not fallen into chaos in the time since then, so it's perfectly reasonable that Congress should have term limits as well. In fact, I would go so far as to impose term limits on every elected office, from the federal government to backwater municipal offices. When people can remain in positions of power for decades at a time, we don't have an elected legislature, we have an aristocracy.
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Cary's Opinion
···
06/10/2015
Somehow, tv shows get better when we know their run is over. In the same way, term limits can help to focus the public servant on the goals they set out to achieve.
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Argument opposed

If you don't like your elected officials — vote them out. Why should effective lawmakers have to leave the progress their making to comply with the term limits?

Christopher's Opinion
···
06/12/2015
Term limits will have the opposite effect on politics than people think. It will empower the extreme wings of both parties, empower political bosses, and longstanding members of Congress with good records and experience in running the government will be forced out and into the lobbying firms. Maybe if Americans did the bear minimum of their civic duty, stumbled into a voting booth, and voted out bad congressmen and senators we wouldn't need such a counter-productive measure.
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Zach's Opinion
···
07/01/2015
I'm liberal, but I believe without gerrymandering we don't need term limits. Hp
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David's Opinion
···
07/13/2016
Be a conscious voter and you don't need term limits.
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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
    IntroducedMay 5th, 2015

What is House Bill H. Joint Res. 49?

This joint resolution would change the United States Constitution to limit members of Congress to serving no more than three terms in the House, and no more than two terms in the Senate. Under these changes, current members of Congress would be exempt from the term limits.

This means that no one could serve in Congress longer than six years as a Representative or 12 years as a Senator. 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 it's a joint resolution to amend the Constitution, this bill wouldn't require approval from the President. And, since states can't impose Congressional term limits on their officials, only an amendment to the Constitution can ensure term limits.

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 can serve in Congress for as long as they are re-elected.

Impact

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

Cost of House Bill H. Joint Res. 49

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: In introducing this novel approach to term limit legislation, Rep. Rob DeSantis (R-FL) is optimistic about aligning the interests of incumbent politicians who don't want a self-imposed retirement with a general public that wants new blood in Congress.

By gradually implementing term limits, and allowing the members of Congress who would approve this legislation to impose them — Rep. DeSantis hopes to get both the public and the political class on board. He points out :
"Americans of all political backgrounds overwhelmingly support term limits, yet term limits have floundered in Congress. An approach that phases in congressional term limits reconciles the self-interest of members of Congress with the public's desire to see these changes enacted and gives us the best chance to make term limits a reality."

Of Note: The debate over term limits is one of the oldest sore points in U.S. political history — in fact, it's a debate that pre-dates the 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 CircaSassy)

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.

    There are people who have been serving for over 30 years. Look what we have done in the last 30 years almost gone bankrupt, bounced how many checks? Stole how much money drove this country into the ground, approved the collection of data, YOUR SPYING ON YOUR OWN CONSTITUENTS! Any other job in the real world you'd be fired 29.5 years ago. Change this NOW.
    Like (59)
    Follow
    Share
    Term limits will have the opposite effect on politics than people think. It will empower the extreme wings of both parties, empower political bosses, and longstanding members of Congress with good records and experience in running the government will be forced out and into the lobbying firms. Maybe if Americans did the bear minimum of their civic duty, stumbled into a voting booth, and voted out bad congressmen and senators we wouldn't need such a counter-productive measure.
    Like (28)
    Follow
    Share
    The Office of the President has had term limits since The 22nd amendment was ratified in 1951 after FDR served four terms in office. Our nation has not fallen into chaos in the time since then, so it's perfectly reasonable that Congress should have term limits as well. In fact, I would go so far as to impose term limits on every elected office, from the federal government to backwater municipal offices. When people can remain in positions of power for decades at a time, we don't have an elected legislature, we have an aristocracy.
    Like (52)
    Follow
    Share
    Somehow, tv shows get better when we know their run is over. In the same way, term limits can help to focus the public servant on the goals they set out to achieve.
    Like (32)
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    Share
    Congressman are servants not career politicians. Too many getting rich of tax payers.
    Like (21)
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    Congress stalls itself on purpose and pad their pockets with money from Super PACS and other sources so they can continue to keep us from the path of progression. We need newer fresher ideas and an open honest and healthy exchange of ideas to foster FREEDOM. Not to strip people of their freedoms or to say they aren't deserving of the freedoms that the constitution says we all get.
    Like (14)
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    I'm liberal, but I believe without gerrymandering we don't need term limits. Hp
    Like (10)
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    Term limits should be in place to ensure that the elected officials remember who they supposed to represent. More than two terms, like the president, they apparently forget why they are there.
    Like (8)
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    The problem we have currently is that the same career politicians are in congress as there were 10 years ago. So yes.
    Like (8)
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    Prevention of oligarchy, actually solving problems instead of pandering to voters, getting paid ridiculous amounts of money for a part time job... Need I go on?
    Like (6)
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    This bill would aid congress in gaining more diverse perspectives on how the country should be run.
    Like (6)
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    Without a doubt, yes
    Like (6)
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    Absolutely, the addition of term limits would limit corruption and enable new voices to be heard.
    Like (5)
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    We've been seeing for years what happens when someone holds a position of power for far too long. Dishonesty runs rampant among the veterans of Washington. Our representatives no longer represent our interests, and it is clearly time for most of them to go back home.
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    Congress has become more concerned with re-election than actual legislative work. Give them a cap to their time and hopefully this will spur them to be more proactive in legislation and cooperation
    Like (4)
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    Be a conscious voter and you don't need term limits.
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    Term limits reduce the time Representatives have to learn about complex issues, and force them to advance "quick-fix" ideas, instead of long term solutions, to appease their constituents.
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    But I think we should take it a step further and include current elected officials
    Like (3)
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    While there are many good men and women who have done a lot of good in their service, with the slow flow of new people is also the slow flow of ideas and without the burden of running for another election i think those in office will do less pandering and spend more time trying to make their tenure worth something.
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    The problem is money. The longer they stay in Congress the more money they are given to sway their vote. More than half the members of Congress are millionaires. A millionaire doesn't represent me. My solution for term limits is that as soon as a congressman becomes a millionaire here she must immediately resign.
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