On Term Limits in the US House of Representatives and US Senate – Why They Are Necessary
House Speaker Paul Ryan has promised to bring term limits to a vote. In 1994 Republicans pledged to limit the terms of all committee chairs in their ‘Contract with America.’ The President of the Unites States, Donald Trump, has vowed to implement term limits during his tenure in the White House. In October 2016, a Rasmussen Poll found that 74% of American voters favored the concept of term limits.
All of these promises have yet come to be, but they indicate an underlying need for said limitation in the US Senate.
Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives haven’t entered into their positions and kept them with the best interests of the American people at heart. They are more focused on a career in politics, maintaining a modicum of power in their seats, and money in their pockets.
This blatant careerism has fostered an underlying sense of frustration and anger toward politicians in general. The American people need representatives interested in the future of their country and their children, not in the future of their position in Congress.
No limitations on how many terms
Currently, House Representatives are limited to two year terms and Senators to six year terms, however, there’s no limitation on how many terms they can serve. Elections are often a foregone conclusion, with newcomers discouraged from running against seasoned opponents. This election system should work, in theory, yet it doesn’t. Often, many of these positions remain uncontested – the same politicians are elected to the same positions repeatedly.
The belief that representatives and senators are interested in serving the public is a total farce. As is true of any working man or woman in the United States, they’re interested in their careers and their own prosperity. Which begs the question – can they be trusted to vote fairly and without political agenda on important legislature?
Can they be trusted to perform in their position to the highest degree of efficacy? Most likely not. Holding power for an extended length of time ultimately leads to corruption and unethical activity – special interests become the order of the day.
In 1951 the 22nd Amendment to our Constitution was ratified, effectively limiting the president and his vice to two terms in office of four years each. Term limits have worked admirably on the State level in California, Arizona, and Arkansas to name a few.
If the person who holds the highest office in the land is subject to term limitation, why then have our senators and house representatives not been subjected to the same standard?
In truth, it seems highly unlikely that House Representatives will vote in favor of term limitation – this in itself is an indicator of the draw of power and the prevalence of hidden agendas.
The hard truth is these politicians may start out with the voters’ best interests at heart, but they’re changed by power before those best interests ever see the light of day. Our country is stuck in a rut created by the people entrusted with its future.
The middle class worker has been shut out, we have a federal debt of $20 trillion dollars, veterans do not get the care they deserve, and we are held back by a lack of affordable health care for the common man and woman.
All the problems which plague our country can be laid at the feet of those sworn to change things, to make things better for all Americans. The only conclusion to be drawn is that it is indeed time to change. To drain the swamp. To create a better future for all Americans, rather than a select few who hold power, stall bills, and slowly destroy what should be the greatest country in the world.
written by Charles Laverty