Senator Ted Cruz to Push for Term Limits

From the Washington Post, written by Ted Cruz and Ron DeSantis, 12-9-16:


On Election Day, the American people made a resounding call to “drain the swamp” that is modern Washington. Yet on Capitol Hill, we seem mired in the same cycle of complacency: The game hasn’t changed, and the players remain the same. Thankfully, there’s a solution available that, while stymied by the permanent political class, enjoys broad public support: congressional term limits.

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump called for enacting term limits, and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) has endorsed the idea. As soon as the 115th Congress convenes, both of us will move to restore accountability among the entrenched Washington establishment by introducing a constitutional amendment to limit the number of terms that a member of Congress can serve to three in the House and two in the Senate.

Passing term limits will demonstrate that Congress has actually heard the voice of the people.

In an age in which partisan divisions seem intractable, it is remarkable that public support for congressional term limits is strong regardless of political affiliation — huge majorities of rank-and-file Republicans, Democrats and independents favor enacting this reform. Indeed, according to a Rasmussen survey conducted in October, 74 percent of likely voters support establishing term limits for all members of Congress. This is because the concept of a citizen legislature is integral to the model of our democratic republic.

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Though our Founding Fathers declined to include term limits in the Constitution, they feared the creation of a permanent political class that existed parallel to, rather than enmeshed within, American society. As Benjamin Franklin said, “In free governments, the rulers are the servants, and the people their superiors. . . . For the former therefore to return among the latter was not to degrade but to promote them.”

We believe that the rise of political careerism in modern Washington is a drastic departure from what the founders intended of our federal governing bodies. To effectively “drain the swamp,” we believe it is past time to enact term limits for Congress.

The American people have lost confidence in Washington. Enmeshed in backroom deals and broken promises, our capital has become a political playground for the powerful and well-connected, for members of the permanent political class looking to accumulate more and more power at the expense of taxpayers. The Washington Cartel is hard at work picking winners and losers, with hard-working Americans typically winding up as the losers.

Term limits will change the calculus of those who serve in Congress.

Without term limits, the incentive for a typical member is to stay as long as possible to accumulate seniority on the way to a leadership post or committee chair. Going along to get along is a much surer path for career advancement than is challenging the way Washington does business.

With term limits, we will have more frequent changes in leadership and within congressional committees, giving reformers a better chance at overcoming the Beltway inertia that resists attempts to reduce the power of Washington.

The American people have offered Republicans an opportunity to enact meaningful change. They have rejected the status quo and put the Washington elites on notice that they will no longer accept the old way of doing business.

It is well past time to put an end to the cronyism that has transformed Washington into a graveyard of good intentions. Favors for the political elite have gone on for far too long. In Washington, where corruption and collusion abound, entrenched politicians live fat and happy cutting deals and breaking promises, while those who don’t oblige are shunned. Congressional term limits are critical to stopping the ongoing abuse by D.C. insiders.

The time is now for Congress, with the overwhelming support of the American people, to pass a constitutional amendment establishing congressional term limits and send it to the states for speedy ratification. With control of a decisive majority of the states, the executive branch, the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Republican Party has the responsibility to respond to the voters’ call to action. We must, and we can deliver.



It will be interesting to follow this issue over the coming months to see if it actually comes to pass and to see if both houses will agree. In November when Paul Ryan stated that he supported Trump’s call for term limits, he stopped short of saying he would push legislation to that end.

If this were to pass and become an amendment, I think we’ll see a big change in the candidates who run for office at the federal level. Perhaps instead of seeing career politicians, we’ll see people who actually care about this country.

But what to do about the Reps and Senators who’ve already exceeded those limits? My suggestion would be that their current term is their last one.

Cruz wants to see a speedy ratification, but it’s doubtful it will happen quickly – nothing happens fast in government. Let’s see if and when it makes it to that point first.


Categories: Political

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7 replies

  1. Maybe it’s just my optimistic attitude talking, but I think that for the first time in a long time, it may really have a chance of passage. The key will be how the current incumbents are addressed. McConnell and McCain are both 30-year guys, McCain is up for reelection in 2018 and McConnell in 2020. Both are worth over $12 million dollars, seems like those 30 years of “public service” has paid off nicely for these hard-working guys. Both are well past their “use by” dates and need to be dumped.


  2. I really don’t think this will pass in congress.
    My guess is we’ll have to wait for the Convention of the States.


    • It may not, tannngl, but right now with the majority in all three houses, we have a better chance at it than we ever have before. I think it will have to be a stand-alone item since it goes to the states for ratification, so they won’t be able to load it up with garbage that gets it struck down.

      Think about the possible reasons any naysayers might give for rejecting it – I can’t think of any that won’t make them look like greedy selfish people. In other words, showing their true colors.

      One huge reason we need this is because of the millions of voters who are ignorant of what’s really happening in Washington, will never vote them out. They keep re-electing the same old tired people every election, so we need this as the only other way to get rid of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kudos to Senator Cruz and anyone else who joins this effort. Just imagine how different things might have been if people like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, and even John McCain and Mitch McConnell had been term limited out of the seats they monopolized all these years.

    Sitting congressmen/women generally have a huge and unfair advantage in the election process because of their name recognition, their free access to the media, the tools of their office and their ability to buy their constituents’ votes with taxpayer money. That’s the reason we end up unable to unseat so many politicians who blatantly undermine the Constitution and work against the interests of the taxpayers. I find their unwillingness, after 3 or more terms in office, to allow someone else to partake in the process of governing to be the absolute height of selfishness and greed for power. The sooner term limits happen, the better.


    • Selfish is right. Think about all the perks they have on top of the expense accounts and the generous salaries they get, yet they have the gall to whine about the need for a raise. Then seeing the reports of their net worth, which is in the millions for many of them, really twists the knife.


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