Sen. Cruz proposes Congressional term limits, but immediate change isn’t likely
AUSTIN, Texas – A U.S. senator and U.S. representative are proposing an amendment that would limit the number of terms a member of Congress can serve.
However, don’t expect to see term limits play a role any times soon.
This week, Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Ron DeSantis proposed an amendment that would change the Constitution to limit the number of terms of senators and representatives.
The proposed amendment would mean U.S. senators could only serve two six-year terms and members of the House of Representatives could only serve three two-year terms.
“D.C. is broken,” Sen. Cruz said in a news release. “The American people resoundingly agreed on Election Day, and President-elect Donald Trump has committed to putting government back to work for the American people. It is well past time to put an end to the cronyism and deceit that has transformed Washington into a graveyard of good intentions.”
“The time is now for Congress, with the overwhelming support of the American people, to submit this constitutional amendment to the states for speedy ratification. With control of a decisive majority of the states, the House of Representatives, and the Senate, we have a responsibility to answer the voters’ call-to-action. We must deliver.”
While DeSantis says that term limits would “infuse Washington with new blood” and would “restore the citizen legislature that our Founding Fathers envisioned,” experts say it won’t immediately affect current members of the House or Senate.
At the end of the proposed amendment, Section 3 brings any ideas of immediate change to a halt.
“No term beginning before the date of the ratification of this article shall be taken into account in determining eligibility for election or appointment under this article,” it reads.
In other words, all current members of Congress will not have to count their current or past terms that occurred before the law is passed, meaning all senators and representatives would basically have a clean slate when and if the amendment goes into effect.
At the same time, many analysts don’t expect it to reach a vote because of opposition to the move in Congress.
Last year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will not discuss term limits on members of Congress at all, despite a push for the move by President-elect Donald Trump.
Currently, members of the House and Senate can serve for an unlimited amount of time.