Term Limits in Congress?

From time to time, someone in Congress asks that the Constitution to be changed so that Presidents could be elected to more than two terms, thus repealing the 22nd Amendment. What about calling for term limits on members of Congress?

Fifteen state legislatures have term limits.  Thirty-six governors are limited as well.  Why not Congress? After the 1994 Republican Revolution in Congress, where the GOP won both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years, reform-minded Congressmen put term limits to a vote.  The vote was in the form of a Constitutional Amendment in 1995.  It failed.  Then three other versions of term limit legislation failed in the House.  After all, it would very difficult to pass a bill in the House, where you are asking the members themselves to support something that would put them out of work.

Some believe that term limits would bring a new face and new vision to the legislative body.  With that new vision comes new ideas.  Others say that term limits would unfairly limit the terms of those Congressmen and Senators who are doing a decent job for their constituents.  It is sort of like saying that you wouldn’t want to throw out the good with the bad.

What are your thoughts on limiting the amount of terms a Congressman or Senator can serve?  How many terms would you limit them to?

21 responses to “Term Limits in Congress?

  1. I would love to see a limit for Congressman and Senators. I would put it at 12 years. That way there is an overlap with the Presidential elections. I’m sure there are plenty of Congressman and Senators doing a great job past 12 years, but it’s just ridiculous to me that someone can be in office for 20-30 years just because he has the voters for his area where he lives. There needs to be a change in Washington and this is the one big way to do it. And for the President having more than two terms. God help all of us if that happens.

  2. Michael Wozniak

    A limitation for Congressman and Senators would be good to have if a president has a limit. I would at least make it a 10 year limit. 20 to 30 years seems to be to long of a wait for there to be a new member if the previous member has not done his/her job right since they were voted.

  3. Tracy Gray-Caruthers

    I’m of two minds when it comes to limiting terms in congress. I am definitely a proponent of term limits. I personally am tired of seeing the same names/family names on ballots and in the news, and nothing ever changes or gets done. At the same time, it seems to me that most congressmen are just “playing” busy in between re-elections. So if they knew that they only had two terms (or whatever), would it really encourage them to be more productive, or would they just spend the time they were allotted “playing?” Would they take MORE bribes, and would their votes be even more readily available for purchase? Would they care to even pretend to invest in their districts, or would they spend their time hob-nobbing, and trying to make allies, so that they could move into another high-powered position once their term was up?

    I don’t know.

    • Lyndon Jackson

      While I’m certainly not opposed to having term limits for Congressman I do wonder like Tracy if will just make them greedier. It sounds like a good idea but I wonder how effective it will be.

  4. This is a good question I myself have been debating with some coworkers. Honestly, I believe each individual in congress should be limited to a specific amount of terms based on their productivity while in office. If an individual is doing a good job in their position, then there should not be a reason why they should be replaced. I say only those who are not doing a well job should be set to a two year term limit and then replaced by someone better possibly,

  5. Senators and congress should have term limits because you have such old ass people in there who think they’re in the 1960s and 80s with that old mentality. you need to get the younger generation in there to make real reasonable laws for todays society. When your in office for too long then it could be a threat. the power goes to your head.

  6. I think that their terms should be limited to. It would give everyone a fair chance to run for the position and to bring new ideas and policies to the legislature. The president can only run for two and that should stay that way but for congress I think that they should be limited to 4 and then its over.

  7. If feel there should be a limit put in place. It seems that once someone gets a seat from that point on all they are worried about is keeping it for as long as possible. When this happens it is no longer about doing what you were elected for. I believe it was said best in class, it’s not about the bills and laws anymore but staying employed. I’d say that 3 or 4 terms would be good because that would allow the elected officials to accomplish something while not making a career out of it. Say let’s give it a try only because the
    way it is now isn’t working very well.

  8. I feel that they should get two terms like the president, so when we get a new president we will also get some new congressmen to either help the president or go against. This might also help the president pass their own polices if the elected officials are on the same page of the president.

  9. I think limits on term limits is a great idea! I say that because those people would be in there forever could use the same ideas and then those ideas could become stale and they may not be able to get any work done. Plus if you and other voters don’t like the one in that spot then you’ve got no way to change it.

  10. I have had this conversation with so many people. I am in definite favor of term limits in EVERY sector of society where you have been put into a position by the people. (The chair of the deacon board at my church was installed in 1967 – and currently holds that role) Yikes – Term limits keeps the mindset of the government fresh. Too many politicians get comfortable in their positions and lose their effectiveness – as much as they try, they become out of touch with the current needs of the people. Things now are NOT as they were 30 years ago – the country changes too quickly and too often and so should politicians in the government.

  11. Muhammad Matariyeh

    I struggle with the concept of term limits. I understand the need for innovative, young politicians to bring new ideas to the table and engage younger generations. However, I think the wisdom of long-term career politicians is invaluable. If a limit is established, I would recommend making it lengthy (such as 15 years), rather than implementing a two term limit similar to the Presidency.

  12. I believe there should absolutely be a term limit for senators or congressman. I think if the Senator or congressman had a limit it should be a 12 year max so that other people can also have a chance to get the position. If the people aren’t satisfied with whoever is in congress then we shouldn’t be forced to be stuck with them because they have money and power to do so. Voters have been unsatisfied with our past congressman so I think it’s time we did something to change the way we select certain politicians.

  13. Hiu Yan Ip (Iris)

    I think it should have a term limit for the congressman or senator. Since everyone will retired, every position need to have new people to take over. If a congressman work for his entire life, new people may not catch up the work rapidly. Therefore, I believe the term limit may be 10 years.

  14. I would forsure say put a term limit for both the senate and congress. When you see pictures of all of them together it looks like half of them aren’t even all there anymore. They probably for know anything that is going on in the outside world anymore. So put the limit at 10 years so it’s a nice even number, unlimited has become alittle to much if greedy people just staying to have control.

  15. I think there should be a limit for Congressman and Senators. It would benefit everyone. It should be at least 10 years. 20-30 years is just too long. Honestly I don’t understand why it’s that long. 20-30 years is too long, especially if the people want change. It’s good to have different Congressman and Senators every so often to promote a little change. A person starts to get burnt out after awhile.

  16. I think Congress should have a term limit of 2, but make it a 6-8 year long period. A term limit would give congress fresh faces and fresh ideas. Times have changed since some of the congressmen were first elected, so we need new faces who can relate to what is happening in America now. Also with a term limit no one would be given the chance to become power hungry.

  17. Farrah Blaydes

    I feel congressman should have a limit of at least two terms. Maybe if there were new members they would bring new ideas and actually get things done,and not just accepting the status quo.

  18. I think limiting all of the Senate to 12 years would be excellent. The President is limited to 8, but the President is also the Commander in Chief and possesses a great deal of media power. Making the limit for everyone else to be 12 would balance this out, while still allowing new people a chance. We already have too much gridlock in our system; it should not be the same way for our candidates. It is not democratic if not everyone has the ability to run and considering the power incumbents have, this is a legitimate concern. Also, it would hopefully provide incentive for politicians to actually accomplish goals.

  19. I think limiting the terms of congressman or senators should be put into effect. There’s so many people who have great ideas and have a different outlook on things especially with the advancement of technology. I feel that 8 or 9 years is enough. If we are going to do better we have to give different people a chance not people who have served for decades, and are still doing things the old way.

  20. I think term limits would probably be a good idea. Of course there would be some residual side effects that go along with it, some good and some bad. One of the negative side effects would be, as already stated, that you could be limiting those members of Congress actually doing a good job and making positive strides in our government. But you could also look at the other side of it and say that you are eliminating those members who are doing a poor job yet get reelected year after year due to voter ignorance or unconditional voter loyalty. The turn over would also establish fresh minds and ideas. At the same time you’re losing experienced and knowledgeable people who know the in’s and out’s of their jobs. You can look at the pro’s and con’s all day but ultimately I think it would be a good idea. I’d say a 12 year limit would be sufficient.

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