We need term limits for Congress

At the same time that political discrimination is emerging as a real thing at the U.S. Capitol Building, there’s never been more clear evidence that we need term limits for Congress.

We already limit our presidents to two terms. We can limit our Congress, too.

Democrats elected to Congress today seem to be OK with the federal government denying employment opportunities to citizens based on their political affiliation. In other words, if you voted for former President Donald Trump, then hit the road, Jack, the government won’t hire you.

If this form of discrimination is allowed to stand, then maybe you won’t get that car loan from your local bank because you don’t share the same politics as the owners, or maybe you won’t get accepted to the college of your choice because you don’t share the same politics with the admissions officers.

Even more seriously, maybe you’ll be blackballed by the U.S. military, rejected and branded as an undesirable.

Some things happening in our country these days - such as the notion of “defunding police’’ - just don’t make any common sense and many citizens feel like no one is looking out for their interests.

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The largest and oldest organization dedicated exclusively to limiting the terms of elected officials, “U.S. Term Limits’’ is expressing gratitude to politicians in Congress who are now backing term limits for their own congressional offices.

Who else would know better than incumbent members that term limits are an important and necessary reform to fix a dysfunctional federal institution?

Two resolutions have been introduced in Congress now calling for 12 years maximum in the U.S. Senate and six years total in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Senate Joint Resolution (SJR3), sponsored by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas has six senators signed on to the measure with at least 11 more expected to cosponsor.

House Joint Resolution 12 (HJR12), sponsored Rep. Ralph Norman R-SC, has a total of 44 members on board with another 31 house members pledged to cosponsor. All-in-all, support is expected to exceed 100 members during the 117th Congress.

Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana, is one of the original cosponsors of SJR3. He said that “placing term limits on the federal legislative branch will bring fresh perspectives to Congress and ensure that our nation’s leaders are in touch with the lives, needs and aspirations of the people they represent.’’

“Support for term limits in Congress has never been as fervent as it is now,’’ says Nicolas Tomboulides, executive director of U.S. Term Limits. He added, “these politicians have the guts to admit the institution is broken and know the solution is a congressional term limits amendment.”

According to the last nationwide poll on term limits, conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, term limits enjoy wide bipartisan support. 

McLaughlin’s analysis states, “Support for term limits is broad and strong across all political, geographic and demographic groups. An overwhelming 79 percent of voters approve of a constitutional amendment that will place term limits on members of Congress.”

SJR3 and HJR12 specify that the clocks of current members would not start ticking until after 38 states ratify the proposal.

It details that “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.’’

In 1995, the Supreme Court ruled in U.S. Term Limits Inc. v. Thornton that states may not impose qualifications for members of Congress that are stricter than those written in the Constitution.

Therefore, the only way to impose term limits on Congress would be through a constitutional amendment.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution specifies that amendments may be proposed either by Congress or the states, both paths are being pursued as part of the U.S. Term Limits mission.

USTL does not require pledge signers to limit themselves absent an amendment to the Constitution. 

Our country’s national security is at risk today in ways we never dreamed possible before because there’s no restrictions on members of Congress or their families owning stock in foreign banks, businesses or energy companies, such as China and Russia - two of our biggest adversaries.

All Chinese companies are also required to share all of their business information with the Chinese government. Some Chinese companies directly fund the Chinese military.

Term limits for Congress may also discourage our federal elected officials from championing legislation that has no benefit to the American citizens but makes them rich through the stock market.

It is encouraging that two resolutions on term limits have been introduced in Congress this year, but don’t hold your breath. Self-preservation is about the only thing Congress is good at these days.

American citizens can stand united on term limits. When your Congressperson or U.S. senator comes home to visit, all you have to do is speak two words to them - “term limits.’’ This is not an issue we can leave to future generations to handle.

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141
 

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