Republicans press constitutional amendment term-limiting members of Congress

Washington DC

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

WASHINGTON D.C. (FOX) — Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, joined five other Republicans on Monday in moving to restrict the number of times members of Congress can be reelected.

The legislation revives Cruz’s earlier idea for a constitutional amendment on term limits. If ratified, the measure would prevent senators from serving more than two six-year terms and House members from serving more than three two-year terms.

“Every year, Congress spends billions of dollars on giveaways for the well-connected: Washington insiders get taxpayer money and members of Congress get re-elected, all while the system fails the American people,” Cruz said in a press release.

“It’s no wonder that the vast majority of Americans from every political stripe – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents – overwhelmingly support congressional term limits,” he wrote. “The rise of political careerism in today’s Congress is a sharp departure from what the Founders intended for our federal governing bodies. I have long called for this solution for the brokenness of Washington, D.C., and I will continue fighting to hold career politicians accountable. As I have done in the past, I urge my colleagues to submit this constitutional amendment to the states for speedy ratification.”

Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Todd Young, R-Ind., Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Mike Braun, R-Ind. joined Cruz in his effort Monday.

“I have long been a supporter of congressional term limits, which would infuse Congress with real-world experience, perspectives, and sensibilities,” said Toomey, who has served in the Senate since 2011. “Term limits also have the added benefit of being supported by supermajorities of Republicans and Democrats.”

A 1995 Supreme Court Case, U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton, held that the only way to impose term limits on Congress would be through a rare constitutional amendment — there have only been 27 in American history.

While term limits have enjoyed bipartisan support, they’ve also encountered some opposition.

Writing for the Brookings Institute, George Washington University professor Casey Burgat argued in 2018 that term limits would, among other things, limit voters’ power and strip away the benefit of having experienced lawmakers in the policymaking process.

He added that for states and foreign governments, “studies regularly find that many of the corruptive, ‘swampy,’ influences advocates contend would be curtailed by instituting term limits are, in fact, exacerbated by their implementation.”

Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.

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