Republican Sen. Ted Cruz recently reintroduced a Constitutional amendment that would impose term limits on Congress. Senators would be limited to two six-year terms while House members would be limited to three two-year terms. This is the third attempt Sen. Cruz has introduced this amendment after attempts in 2017 and 2019.
Sen. Cruz introduced the bill alongside Sens. Mike Braun, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, Pat Toomey, and Todd Young in a Twitter post. The two-page joint resolution was proposed as an amendment to the Constitution that would be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution. The amendment includes term limits for a representative eligible for election or appointment to the House of Representatives or Senate.
Sen. Cruz and former Rep. Ron DeSantis first discussed term limits in a 2016 op-ed piece in the Washington Post. They called for ‘draining the swamp’ that is modern Washington and restoring accountability to demonstrate that Congress has actually heard the voice of the people. Without term limits, a typical member can advance their career by accumulating seniority to head towards a leadership post or committee chair. This strips the opportunity for others to enact meaningful change or be rejected by the ‘Washington Elite.’
In 2019, Sen. Cruz reintroduced with Rep. Francis Rooney claiming that members of Congress have abused their powers and ignored the will of the American people for too long. He suggested offering term limits as a solution to the brokenness in Washington D.C, even pointing out that our founding fathers, Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, even refused to consider public service as a career. This amendment was cosponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, and David Perdue.
Others have argued that imposing term limits without a lobbying ban shifts the incentives for congresspeople to work in a bad way and make career plans after. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had tweeted out that those who have served in Congress can just turn around and leverage their service for a lobbyist check.
“Here’s something I don’t say often: on this point, I AGREE with @AOC Indeed, I have long called for a LIFETIME BAN on former Members of Congress becoming lobbyists. The Swamp would hate it, but perhaps a chance for some bipartisan cooperation?” Sen. Cruz tweeted.
There used to be a time when opposing congressional members worked together to reach an agreement on important issues. Term limits might just draft some helpful legislation and bipartisan teamwork after all.