Tag Archives: Congress

Quote of the Week

“I am not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.” — Then Congressman Newt Gingrich (R-GA) of Georgia

What is your take on the status quo in government?

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?

Your Grade for Congress

Term Limits

The President of the United States is limited to two four-year terms according to the 22nd Amendment.  After two terms, that President can no longer run again.  There are no term limits for members of Congress.  You can stay in office for as long as you are re-elected to that seat.  (Yes, I know.  Members of Congress can also resign, die, or be expelled from the House and Senate.)

Identify the Message

Identify the political message below.  It is from a bumper sticker in 1972.  John Ashbrook was a Congressman from Ohio.  A Republican, he challenged fellow Republican and sitting President Richard Nixon in the GOP primaries.  Nixon easily defeated Ashbrook.

Ashbrook

 

No Congress For Young Men (or Women)

The average age of members from the 113th Congress (2013-2014) were as follows:

House:  57.0 years
Senate:  62.0 years

In order to be elected to the House of Representatives, you must be 25 years of age when the newly inducted Congress is seated.  For the United States Senate, you must be 30 years old.  With voter turnout so low amongst younger voters, do you believe that it has something to do with the age of the candidates?

Source:  Calculations based on CQ Roll Call Member Profiles

What Interests You?

Why does the race, that you chose, interest you?  Is there a particular race that you are interested in?

Predicting the Midterms

The midterm elections are less than 30 days away.  Control of the United States Senate and House of Representatives hangs in the balance.  The Democratic Party controls the United States Senate with 53 members.  The Republican Party has 45.  There are two Independents in the Senate who caucus, or work with, the Democrats.  In order to win the Senate, the Republican Party needs a net gain of six Senate seats this November.  The current makeup of the House of Representatives favors the Republican Party as they 233 seats to the Democrats, 199.  In order for the Democrats to retake the House, they would need a net gain of 17 seats.

Evaluating the Ads — Enyart vs. Bost

There is a lot going on here in this week’s “Evaluating the Ads” post.  For some perspective on the Congressional race in the 12th District of Illinois between first term Congressman Bill Enyart (D) and Illinois State Representative Mike Bost (R), please watch this video on an outburst Rep. Bost made in 2012 regarding the rules set forth by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Fast forward to 2014.  The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is running this ad targeting Bost.

Here is the response by Bost.

Please notice the difference in the two ads.  An ad that was paid for by the candidate’s team has to say, “I approve this message.”  This was a provision from the Bipartisan Campaign Act (McCain-Feingold) of 2002.  Any organization outside of a political campaign must declare that they are not affiliated with a campaign team.  Therefore, the ad that was run against Bost was not run by the Enyart campaign.  Bost’s ad was paid for by the Bost campaign.

If you were a voter in this race, how would you rate each ad?  Do you believe the DCCC’s ad is effective?  Do you believe Bost’s response was a strong one?

The 22nd Amendment

In 1944, Thomas Dewey, the Republican nominee for President, has this to say about a multi-term President:

“Four terms, or sixteen years, is the most dangerous threat to our freedom ever proposed.” (1)

Dewey was referring to Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt’s bid for a fourth term for President.  FDR ended up winning in ’44, but he died early in the first year of that term.  The support that Dewey and others gave to term limiting the President did not go unnoticed.  Limiting the President to two terms passed both houses of Congress in 1947.  In 1951, the 22nd Amendment was ratified by enough states for its official passage.  Since FDR, no President (with the exception of Harry Truman who was exempt from the Amendment) has been able to serve for more than two terms.

What do you think?  Should there be term limits on a President?  

— (1) For more information about the Election of 1944, you can find it here.